The final round of this year’s Superbike World Championship takes place at the Autodromo Algarve in Portugal and both Troy and Ruben are aiming to end the season on a high. This year’s championship has been the most competitive in its twenty-two year history, but Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport team has acquitted itself very well in its first year of competition and is now looking to build on this year’s experiences and come back even stronger next year.
The Portimao track is relatively new to the calendar and is one of the most technically challenging circuits of the series, thanks to its changes of elevation and blind corners. Both Troy and Ruben raced there last year, albeit on different machines, so although they know which way round the track goes, the first day of practice and qualifying will be used to try and find a good set-up for their bikes.
It seems to have been quite a long year, but I am satisfied with the progress we have made throughout the season and I am especially pleased with the S 1000 RR in the past few races. The series is so competitive and hard this year and often less then half a second is the difference between a good grid place and something further down the order. And if you don’t get a good grid position, you are always playing catch-up. If we took our race times from this year and put them into last year’s results, our bike would’ve been on the podium quite a few times, so that shows how much faster everybody is going this year. I am looking forward to Portimao and finding out what our engineers have come up with since the last round. I am hoping that another step forward has been made and that Ruben and I can finish BMW’s debut season on a high.
I cannot wait for Portimao because I really want to see what the guys have done to the bike since Magny-Cours and see if I can push it and myself to our best result of the year. I am happy that I can race in Portugal because originally my doctors told me that I wouldn’t race again this year after my crash in Brno. So, a big thank you to my physiotherapist and everybody at the clinic where I did a lot of rehabilitation and training. My body is not yet 100%, but I will be stronger than I was at Magny-Cours and you need to be fully fit to ride these kind of bikes hard. Portimao is a very physical circuit, so I know that my body is going to get a pounding, but I am going to do my best and try and get my best finish of the year.
Berti Hauser (BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director)
This year has been a big adventure for us all and an exciting challenge. We knew that this year was not going to be easy, but I think we have done very well considering we are such a new team. Our bike (and our team) has a big potential and we know that we are going to make more and more progress. Already, we are looking forward to continuing our development over the winter and coming back even stronger next year. I am very happy that we will have Troy and Ruben with us again in 2010. From the very first day, they have been part of the team and have helped create a super team atmosphere. Both are strong and are determined to win and hopefully we can give them the opportunity to do it next year.