Foggy focuses on further development for FPR

Foggy PETRONAS Racing riders Troy Corser and Chris Walker scored a top ten double in the final race of the 2004 Superbike World Championship to complete a second season of development for the PETRONAS FP1 and Carl Fogarty's team.

Chris also finished the first race of the day at the French circuit of Magny-Cours in eighth place, although Troy was unable to capitalise on his pole position performance of Saturday when engine trouble brought an early end to his race.

James Toseland won both races to oust Troy as the youngest Superbike World Champion at the age of 24, while PETRONAS further cemented their position of third in the manufacturer standings by finishing 71 points ahead of Kawasaki.

And Carl Fogarty was able to take encouragement from both the final round and the season as a whole as his team enter an extensive programme of winter development of the PETRONAS FP1 - the first Malaysian superbike.

He said: "This was just our second year of development and we have made big steps forward again. There have been a few highs, with our two podiums and two pole positions, and also a lot of top six finishes. The new PETRONAS engine development team have not had much time to get their teeth stuck into the task but now we have a full winter of testing and development ahead of us and there is no doubt that we will be stronger next year, albeit in a stronger championship. So the aim for next year is to be running in the top five or six and challenging for podiums in every race.

"The weekend was an improvement on the previous couple of rounds but we probably expected more after Troy's incredible pole position yesterday. Our hopes were high for a couple of top six finishes and we were only just outside that, so it wasn't a bad weekend."

Troy was lying in sixth place when he was forced to retire from the first race on the 14th lap with a broken engine. And, despite further technical difficulties in the second race, he finished seventh to finish the season ninth in the rider standings with a total of 146 points.

He said: "The season has been a bit up and down. I have been riding well although small problems have meant too much time in the pit box. But PETRONAS and the whole team have done a great job and it should be good for next season. Everything came together for Superpole yesterday and it was fantastic to be finishing the season on such a high. But we were still a little bit slow on top speed up the back straight and, although I was trying to hang on after two good starts, it was a bit frustrating because the bike was much better this weekend."

Chris battled hard in both races to finish eighth, despite also enduring clutch problems from early in the race, to end the season in 11th place just two points behind Marco Borciani with a total of 128.

He said: "I have finished the season in 11th yet I have only made one mistake all year. The number of races I haven't finished has been the problem. But the bike has improved a lot under the new engine development team and the engine felt good this weekend. I had a clutch problem in the second race and was free-wheeling every time I shut the throttle. In the first race I ended up battling with Leon and was faster than him through a couple of left-handers, but had lost too much in the previous corner because the rear was backing in so much. It's so frustrating to see the leaders edging away but, once the tyres start to go off, I lose time coming out of the corners as well as going in."