Martin on song for FPR at Valencia Steve Martin produced superb form on the final day of the Superbike World Championship official test at Valencia, Spain, to finish the three days as the fifth fastest rider. The Australian hacked a further ...
Martin on song for FPR at Valencia
Steve Martin produced superb form on the final day of the Superbike World Championship official test at Valencia, Spain, to finish the three days as the fifth fastest rider.
The Australian hacked a further second off yesterday's best time with a stunning lap of 1:35.178, two seconds quicker than his time on qualifiers at last year's race. And he was then fourth fastest in today's afternoon session with a time of 1:35.7, set on race tyres, and behind only Troy Corser, Nori Haga and Troy Bayliss, even though a high-side crash, from which he emerged unscathed, ended that session prematurely.
Team-mate Craig Jones also continued to make encouraging progress and was 24th fastest in a windy final session, having made significant in-roads into yesterday's lap times.
Bayliss had earlier broken the lap record with a time of 1:33.758, while Karl Muggeridge was a casualty when he suffered a fractured vertebrae in a bizarre crash on entering pit-lane.
Team manager Jack Valentine said: "This has been an excellent day and it's very motivating to have made massive steps forward again with the chassis. We keep on managing to find something extra out of it. Steve's riding was awesome and it's so good to be able to set those times at a circuit where we have struggled recently. Craig has continued to make progress. He is now not far behind some of the big name riders and he will continue to improve."
Steve said: "Today was a good day. We made some more chassis changes, to the steering head and swing arm angles, to help stop the bike wheelying out of corners. The conditions in the afternoon were not fantastic, yet I went faster every time I went out in that session. Unfortunately I crashed and just have to put that down to one of those things that happens when you are pushing the limits. But I am happy that I came away with a decent set-up for the race at the end of next month and we are heading in the right direction going into the next test at Misano."
Craig said: "I managed to improve my times from yesterday this morning before we had a few things go wrong with the bike. Then conditions didn't enable me to go quicker in the afternoon session, which was a shame. But I have regained my confidence on the bike, so there are positives to take away from here. I am a lot more comfortable on the bike and, if I can get it turning a bit better, hopefully the speed will come."
Final times, Superbike World Championship official test, Valencia, Spain: 1 Bayliss 1:33.758; 2 Xaus 1:34.659; 3 Lanzi 1:34.848; 4 Corser 1:34.993; 5 Martin (Foggy PETRONAS Racing) 1:35.178; 6 Haga 1:35.295; 7 Nieto 1:35.377; 8 Pitt 1:35.423; 9 Fabrizio 1:35.437; 10 Kagayama 1:35.538; 28 Jones (Foggy PETRONAS Racing) 1:38.020