Imola: Foggy Racing Saturday report

Third row start for FPR at Imola Steve Martin will start from the third row of the grid at Imola tomorrow for the penultimate round of the Superbike World Championship. But team-mate Garry McCoy will assess the injuries he received in a ...

Third row start for FPR at Imola

Steve Martin will start from the third row of the grid at Imola tomorrow for the penultimate round of the Superbike World Championship.

But team-mate Garry McCoy will assess the injuries he received in a high-speed afternoon crash before deciding if he is fit enough to start the two races.

Steve's 11th place on the grid was scant reward for the progress made during qualifying. He sliced another full second off yesterday's best time with an amazing final split, the fastest of the morning qualifying session, as his flying lap left him in sixth place going into Superpole.

He said: "It has been a good day overall, although I am disappointed that I didn't do a very good lap in Superpole. It was a bit messy and I paid the price, but to be thinking that a 1:49 lap is slow is not a bad thing. I seem to have a good pace on the race tyre that we have picked for either hot or cold conditions, and was able to stay with the likes of Andrew Pitt. But it will just be a matter of getting behind the right group of guys for the first few laps. It's a long drag to the first corner but hopefully we can sort it all out in the first turn!"

Garry's day started badly when his attempt at a flying lap was thwarted by an oil leak on his favoured bike at the end of the session, leaving insufficient time to switch machines. Then he was only able to complete six laps in the afternoon, during which he improved his best time by more than half a second, before suffering two more technical setbacks, the second of which caused his crash at the second chicane when oil leaked onto his rear tyre.

He said: "I landed on my tail-bone and I cannot even sit down or bend my back. If I had to ride right now I wouldn't be able to do it and normally you feel worse the next day. I also banged my head so I will just have to get up in the morning and see how it is. I heard a slight difference in sound going into the Villeneuve chicane, which I didn't get through. There was oil all over me. In the morning qualifying session we had a good amount of time to put in the qualifier and go back out, but then the oil was spotted. My other bike wasn't set up the same so we had to try to put the same settings on bike two, as well as swapping both tyres, and there wasn't enough time to do it all. But I think I made progress during the morning session and cured the movement from yesterday. The bike felt more stable and I felt more confident on it."

-fpr-

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About this article
Series World Superbike
Drivers Garry McCoy , Andrew Pitt , Steve Martin