The two day official tests in Imola saw an improvement in BMW’s fortunes, with Ruben Xaus ending seventh quickest overall and just one tenth of a second or so off Ben Spies in third place. Both Ruben and Troy had new spec engines here, but Troy’s engine blew a head gasket yesterday and he had to go back to the older engine for the afternoon and today. Ruben used the new spec engine yesterday and today and, like Troy, found the bike easier to ride and control. Both riders are now looking forward to having the new spec engines for the Brno round on 26th July. Briton Jonathon Rea (Honda) posted the fastest lap of the tests, with a lap of 1:48.670. Second is Michel Fabrizio (Ducati), with Ben Spies (Yamaha) third and Lorenzo Lanzi (Ducati) fourth.
Ruben Xaus Speaks… (7th, 1:49.467)
I am happy how these tests have gone and I am really happy with the new engines. Now the bike is easier to ride and the connection between the throttle and the engine is improved. Of course, there’s still a lot of work to do, but this improvement has made us all smile again and look forward to using these engines in Brno.
The lap times are very close and if I had gone just over one tenth of a second faster, I would have been fighting Spies for third place! I am happy with my times on race tyres and feel we have made a good step forward and one that allows us to think very positively about the future. The team have been working fantastically hard recently and we need to be happy about what we have done. I have a lot of faith that BMW understand the situation and know what to do to keep up this improvement.
Troy Corser Speaks…. (17th, 1:50.486)
Once my new engine had gone, it was back to what we had before, but what’s good is that we realize how much better the new engine is. Going back to the old spec re-enforced our thoughts about the new engine and we definitely know it’s the way ahead for us. The new spec engine makes the bike easier to ride and I can push a lot harder. So, it was a shame that the head gasket went yesterday, because it would’ve been good to put in a lot more laps and get the bike working better. Ruben’s comments and lap times make me and the team feel a lot more positive about Brno and the next few races.
Rainer Baeumel Speaks… (Team Manager)
I am happy that we have been able to make a step forward and pleased with Ruben’s performance. I feel sorry for Troy because he didn’t have enough time with the new engine to make progress like Ruben. Ruben had a problem, like Troy, with one his bikes this afternoon, but we know what the problem is and can fix it in time for Brno. The new engine spec is giving the riders more confidence and making the bike easier for them to ride. There’s more work to do of course, but we are all looking forward to Brno because we think it is a circuit that should suit our bike. After Misano and Donington, it’s good to have something positive to talk about and something good to look forward to.
1 Rea (GBR-Honda) 1:48.670, 2 Fabrizio (ITA-Ducati) 1:48.847, 3 Spies (USA-Yamaha) 1:49.262, 4 Lanzi (ITA-Ducati) 1:49.309, 5 Sykes (GBR-Yamaha) 1:49.422, 6 Hopkins (USA-Honda) 1:49.443, 7 Ruben Xaus (ESP-BMW Motorrad Motorsport) 1:49.467, 17 Troy Corser (AUS-BMW Motorrad Motorsport) 1:50.486