Foggy's deflated Assen aspirations
Foggy PETRONAS Racing endured a deflating ninth round of the Superbike World Championship at Assen, the Netherlands.
Riders Troy Corser and Chris Walker were forced to settle for best finishes of seventh and tenth respectively around the fast-flowing curves of the circuit known as `the Cathedral of Speed' and.
Troy was ninth in the first race, but found greater consistency in the second race to claim seventh spot. Chris was also able to move up two places following his 12th position in the opening race after switching to a softer tyre.
James Toseland, the new championship leader, was a clear winner of the opening 16-lap battle but lost out to Chris Vermeulen by just three hundredths of a second in a thrilling second race. But the gap between that leading pack and his two riders left team owner Carl Fogarty in reflective mood.
Carl said: "Maybe our expectations were a little too high for this weekend coming off the back of our results at Brands. We are still missing that little bit extra and that little bit makes a big difference at fast circuits like Assen and Silverstone, where we have struggled. It's now a case of bridging that gap and we are confident that it will be closed next year. If we can get the best possible set-ups at the next two circuits then I can confident that we can run in the top six again."
Troy said: "I think that seventh was about as high as I could have hoped to finish today. I might have been able to run with Leon Haslam in the second race but he was able to open a gap in the first few laps. The tyre was more consistent in the second race and wasn't backing in as much. But in the first race I was losing a bit at nearly every corner and had to push the front too hard. I made a mistake and lost contact with the group in front of me in the first race and when I caught them back up they were pulling away enough out of the slower corners that I couldn't quite get close enough to get a draft and pass them."
Chris said: "I rode really well in the second race but didn't get the mega start I needed and found myself behind McCoy's bike, which was chucking oil out from the first lap. Steve Martin was waving his arms to try and tell the marshals at the end of the first lap and I can't believe that nobody saw it. I had to rip my tear-off off because it was covered in oil. So the pack that was behind him didn't dare push too hard until he eventually pulled over on the sixth lap. After that, every time I passed someone they came straight back past me on the straight but I was doing lap times consistently about a second faster than the first race. There was a group of four dicing for ninth but Martin and Nannelli went down on the last lap when they ran wide and touched. That allowed me and Borciani through but I was angry not to pass Borciani because he has now gone into tenth in the championship. The first race was just one of those boring lonely races. I just had no grip going into the corners and if I push that little bit I was going sideways, so the others pulled away. I changed the rear tyre for the second race and it worked a lot better. But the back end was still coming round more than the riders I was dicing with, and that was costing me time. It's annoying because we seemed to have solved the problem at Brands. I think tenth was a realistic position considering the form we have been showing this weekend."
The results strengthened PETRONAS' hold on third place in the manufacturer standings to 67 points.