FPR hatch a plan for showpiece World Superbike event Foggy PETRONAS Racing are aiming to capitalise on recent technical progress to make the most of home advantage for the eighth round of the Superbike World Championship at Brands Hatch this ...
FPR hatch a plan for showpiece World Superbike event
Foggy PETRONAS Racing are aiming to capitalise on recent technical progress to make the most of home advantage for the eighth round of the Superbike World Championship at Brands Hatch this weekend.
Australian Garry McCoy is expected to have recovered sufficiently from elbow and back injuries sustained at the previous round to take his place on the PETRONAS FP1, despite missing two recent test sessions in Germany and at Silverstone.
But team-mate Steve Martin was able to make strides forward with the bike's new engine management system during those tests and is confident of building on his impressive pedigree at the Kent circuit.
He qualified on pole position last year and was on the podium for the first race, before suffering engine failure in the second race, when Chris Walker achieved FPR's best dry race finish of fourth place.
So team owner Carl Fogarty, celebrating the 10th anniversary of his famous double win at Brands Hatch in 1995, is cautiously optimistic of an upturn in his team's fortunes.
Carl said: "I am hoping this will be one of our stronger rounds. The circuit lay-out suits good set-up and handling, a bit like Misano and Phillip Island, and shouldn't show up our disadvantages like Brno did. Brands Hatch is not somewhere where you can come out of corners and just whack on the throttle. And, by the time you are using all your power, you are into the next corner. A lot will depend on our starts. If our riders can get a good clear run in the first few laps they could manage to keep the others behind them."
Steve said: "I am really looking forward to this round. It's a track that I like and the bike obviously goes well here. It's a pretty similar circuit to Phillip Island, where we qualified well this year, and flowing circuits seem to suit our bike better. There are a lot of high-speed corners and that also seems to suit my style. It's a real riders' track for speed judgement into the corners. You don't brake too hard into many corners and you are always on the edge of adhesion, so there is no room for error. After our test this week I am entering the meeting thinking only about my performance on the track. You can never save everything for one round, but I am hoping to have really good results here."
Garry said: "It has been a shame to miss a few days' testing through my injuries but I am hoping we can qualify well and have two good races. I had the stitches out on Monday and my back and neck injuries are much better so I am hoping to be nearly fully fit for Friday. I would say it's probably the most dangerous circuit of the season because of the lack of run-off in certain areas. But, if you can forget the safety issues, it's enjoyable in a way. It's quite good fun, with a few up and down sections and fast turns here and there. It's a circuit where you can carry a bit more corner speed and you go downhill out of the slowest corner, so that should also help us."
Team manager Jack Valentine said: "Realistically we are looking for good reliability and for both riders to be in Superpole so that we can score good solid top ten finishes on Sunday. Brands is a fast, flowing sort of circuit, with no real stop-start areas or very long straights which seem to hinder our bike. But we still know it is going to be a very difficult race for us."