News 31 Aug 2011

Australian contingent previews German World Superbike round

Aussie Troy Corser will be looking for strong results this weekend in Germany.

Aussie Troy Corser will be looking for strong results this weekend in Germany.

The German round of the 2011 Superbike World Championship at Nürburgring (rd 10) this weekend may have come at the perfect time for Australia’s Troy Corser.

Determined to stem the tide after what has been a challenging year for the double world champion, Corser is returning to a circuit where he was supremely fast in regulation qualifying in 2010 before things began to unravel with a crash in Superpole, and then another incident in race one.

But he showed more than enough raw speed on his factory BMW around the undulating 5.137km layout – one of the championship’s real showpieces – to suggest that he will give this year’s two 20-lap races a real shake.

“Last year we were doing quite well in the practice and the qualifying sessions at the Nürburgring,” said Corser. “Unfortunately we then suffered a dip in the Superpole and ended up back on the fourth row. And then I got tangled up in a crash in the first race. But it is a track that I like.

“The Nürburgring has a lot of history, and I always enjoy racing here. It has a very nice layout and is undulating. It also offers a lot of overtaking opportunities. As a result we generally have thrilling and spectacular races. I hope we can now get the bike sorted out to go and get a result.”

The World Superbike title has only visited Nürburgring five times, with Corser managing to eke out a victory way back in 1999.

The circuit was then banished from the calendar before returning in 2008, with Noriyuki Haga and Jonathan Rea dominating most of the races since then.

But the duo will find it a tough ask to maintain those high standards this year, with Rea in particular returning to action after a long layoff with a broken arm and collarbone, as well as ligament damage in his wrist.

And there’s the prospect of facing off against the three riders who have dominated the 2011 championship – Spain’s Carlos Checa (Ducati) and Italians Max Biaggi (Aprilia) and Marco Melandri (Yamaha).

Checa will be full of confidence after routing the opposition in the last round at Silverstone, and will go one step closer to becoming the first Spanish rider to win the championship if he has another stellar outing in Germany.

He’s currently 62pts (343 to 281) ahead of Biaggi, with Melandri (272) lurking in third place.

Others expected to fight for podium honours at Nürburgring — a circuit with a slew of overtaking opportunities — will include Eugene Laverty (Yamaha), Leon Haslam (BMW), Leon Camier (Aprilia) and Michel Fabrizio (Suzuki), while Mark Aitchison (Kawasaki) will be the second and final Aussie in action with Chris Vermeulen (Kawasaki) a late scratching as his injured elbow takes longer than expected to recover.

Vermeulen is now likely to return to racing at Imola, Italy, on 23-25 September.