With the MotoGP silly season more or less played out, and the World Superbike season winding to a close, the seats in World Superbikes are starting to be sorted out. The latest news comes from BMW, who today officially announced that they will be retaining their seasoned veteran Troy Corser for 2011. The announcement comes as no surprise, as the Australian former world champion has been instrumental in developing the brand new German Superbike over the past couple of years, and Corser continues to be motivated to ride at this level, despite being nearly 39 years of age.
The press release also mentions that they are not yet ready to announce their second rider, although it is certain that Spaniard Ruben Xaus will lose his seat with the Munich factory. Xaus has been very disappointing in 2010, after a big crash at the first round in Australia got his season off to a terrible start. In his place, the names of Sterilgarda Yamaha rider James Toseland and current Alstare Suzuki rider Leon Haslam are doing the rounds. Toseland's boss Roger Burnett has been insisting for quite some time now that Toseland is close to inking a deal with the German factory, though reports have also linked Toseland to a return to the Ten Kate Honda team for 2011, alongside Johnny Rea - if Ten Kate field a two-man team for next season.
Leon Haslam, on the other hand, already has a contract with Alstare Suzuki, but the team's contracts have in the past been notoriously fluid - as witnessed by Max Neukirchner's sudden release from the team at the end of 2010. In addition, the future of the team run by Francis Batta is in serious doubt, as the Belgian-based team is having major problems raising sponsorship for 2011, a problem that has dogged the team since the departure of Corona at the end of the 2007 season. Haslam, in turn, is being linked to a switch to BMW, either to partner Corser or as part of a three-man team for next season. Indeed, one member of the MotoMatters.com community even claimed that Haslam had already signed a contract with BMW last week. Attempts to confirm this news through other channels met only with a non-committal response from BMW. However, Haslam's brilliant performance on a clearly underpowered and undeveloped bike have garnered a lot of interest throughout the WSBK paddock, and there is doubt that the young Briton is high up on the list of potential candidates for all and any open factory WSBK seats still available.
Below is the press release from BMW announcing Corser's extension:
BMW Motorrad Motorsport retain Troy Corser for 2011.
Munich/Stephanskirchen, 22nd September 2010. BMW Motorrad Motorsport will continue to invest in the experience of a world champion in next year's FIM Superbike World Championship. Troy Corser will ride the BMW S 1000 RR for the recently formed team once again in 2011, his third season with BMW Motorrad Motorsport.
"We're very pleased that Troy Corser will continue to be part of our set-up," says BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director Berthold Hauser. "Troy has played a major role in getting our team to where it is today. He's been on board from day one and his many years of experience in the Superbike World Championship have allowed him to carry out valuable work for us. Our task now is to build on this platform. We're in no doubt that we can achieve our ambitious aims together with Troy. We'll announce the identity of our second rider in due course."
Troy Corser says: "It was an easy decision for me to continue with a team where I feel at home. We're really building something here and I've very much enjoyed being part of this project from the beginning." The 38-year-old, who has recorded two third places - at Monza and Misano - so far this season, adds: "I think we've already achieved a great deal together and believe that, with our commitment and resources, we can climb further up the field over the course of the season ahead."
Troy Corser profile:
|Date of birth:||27th November 1971|
|Place of birth:||Wollongong (AUS)|
|Residence:||Monte Carlo (MCO)|
|Marital status:||Married to Sam, two children - Kalani and Kelisa|
|Hobbies:||Golf, wakeboarding, karting, jet-ski, motocross|
|Favourite circuits:||Phillip Island, Valencia, Portimão|
|First bike:||Yamaha TY 80 (road), Honda CR 80 (racing)|
|First race:||1989 Australian Production Series 250cc|
|Career highlights:||1996 Superbike world champion, 2005 Superbike world champion|
|WSBK history:||351 races, 130 podiums, 33 wins, 47 second places and 50 third places, 43 pole positions, 45 fastest race laps|