There hasn’t been much doubt in the World Superbike paddock that Troy Corser would be anywhere but in the BMW camp for the 2011 season (although the same can’t be said for teammate Ruben Xaus), so it’s no surprise that the German company has signed the Australian rider up for another season in WSBK. Having helped develop the BMW S1000RR from day one, Corser will continue honing the German superbike into the track weapon that Bavaria wants/needs. The only real question for Corser next year is who will join him.
The 39-year-old Corser has shown this season that despite his age, he’s still a former World Champion. With a handful of podiums, Corser has kept BMW on course with its stated objectives, and shown consistently marked improvements. However Corser hasn’t put the S1000RR on the top step, and BMW has made no secret about its intent to contend for the WSBK Championship title next season. The Germans are likely scouting their talent pool accordingly.
Leon Haslam seems to be the silly season favorite for joining the BMW squad, despite the fact the British rider has a contract still with Alstare Suzuki. The “factory” Suzuki team has been flexible about its riders leaving in the past though, and some rumors suggest Haslam has already signed with BMW. Other silly season favorites include James Toseland, who has been this season’s big disappointment.
After winning the World Superbike Championship in 2007, Toseland flopped in MotoGP. Finding himself back in WSBK for the 2010 season, many expected King James to dominate once again, especially after the masterful performance Yamaha made in the 2009 season with Ben Spies. Such was not the case, but Toseland still remains a former world champion, and teams like BMW could be seeing the Brit as an under-appreciated asset. Roger Burnett, Toseland’s manager, has suggested that JT is close to deal with BMW, but that information is in conflict with the rumors we’ve heard about Haslam. Or does it?
Silly season is in no short supply of interesting gossip, with the last bit being that BMW could field a three-bike team. BMW is being very German about the whole thing, and staying tight lipped on the rest of its WSBK movements. Time will tell of course.