Monza misery for FPR
Foggy PETRONAS Racing left the fourth round of the Superbike World Championship Monza empty-handed after more race day trauma.
In the first race, won by Troy Corser, Garry McCoy was setting consistent and competitive lap times as he closed in on a pack of six riders before he suffered a mechanical failure on the 17th lap while in 17th position, having worked his way up from 24th. On his spare bike for race two, he also pulled in on the penultimate lap with an engine problem but was deemed to have crossed start-finish in pit-lane and was therefore declared to have finished the race in 21st, one lap behind winner Chris Vermeulen.
Steve Martin had also settled into a rhythm before he crashed on the 15th lap of the first race while lying 19th. His second race ended prematurely when an engine problem in his second bike forced the Australian to retire after just four laps.
Team manager Jack Valentine said: "We are disappointed for PETRONAS, the team and the riders that the results do not reflect our true potential, or the effort being put in by everyone. But it is important to remember that we are constantly developing a bike during racing conditions and we hope that these efforts will bear fruit in later rounds."
Garry said: "Unfortunately, that's development! It's obviously very disappointing, especially as I really thought we could have got some points this weekend. It was looking pretty close in the first race before the engine failure, as I had started to put in some good consistent lap times after an early brake lever problem. In the first race I was pretty happy with the bike and finding it pretty easy to go by the riders in front. Then I spent a couple of laps trying to correct the position of my front brake lever before I got comfortable with the bike and started to put in some good consistent lap times. We have now just got to cross our fingers and look forward to the next round."
Steve said: "Everyone is working really hard and I know there are so many more things to come that will make a difference. However, you can't have one thing, like extra horsepower, without another - you have to have the whole package and we are still developing that whole package. The bike was handling pretty well in the first race. I had been having problems with the drive out of Lesmo all weekend. It was lacking power in third gear and, because I was losing so much time there, I had to have a go in second gear. My times started to improve but then on lap 15 it pitched me sideways going into the corner."