Martin On The Pace In Valencia Foggy PETRONAS Racing riders, Steve Martin and Garry McCoy, made encouraging strides forward during the two day official SBK test at Valencia, with Steve also improving on the team's best lap time from the 2004...
Martin On The Pace In Valencia
Foggy PETRONAS Racing riders, Steve Martin and Garry McCoy, made encouraging strides forward during the two day official SBK test at Valencia, with Steve also improving on the team's best lap time from the 2004 race weekend at the Spanish circuit, by almost a quarter of a second.
His quickest lap time of 1:37.038, placed him in an impressive 7th position in the timesheet at the end of the morning session, in a field of increased competition for 2005 due to the return of many established two wheel manufacturers to the series, although he finished the day in 11th overall with the same time.
Team mate Garry McCoy was able to knock two and half seconds off his best lap time from yesterday by using a qualifying tyre during the afternoon session, and finished the day in 25th place with a time of 1:38.011.
Continuing dry conditions enabled both riders to make further progress with the scheduled testing programme. Steve continued to fine tune his set up from yesterday, making small adjustments to suspension and also testing further engine development components. Garry continued evaluating set up options with the longer swing arm on his number one bike, although an engine problem caused him to switch to his second bike, fitted with the standard swing arm, for the afternoon session.
A red flag with just 1 minute and 53 seconds of the afternoon session remaining, while Steve and Garry were on their final flying laps on qualifying tyres, robbed them both of the chance to further improve their lap times which they were confident was possible in the closing stages of the day.
Team Manager, Jack Valentine commented, "Overall I'm really pleased with how this test has gone and the amount of positive developments we have achieved. Steve has found a chassis set up that he is very comfortable with it was great he was able to post the seventh fastest time in the morning session and eleventh overall is very encouraging. Garry has made progress, although struggled more than Steve to find a set up he is totally happy with. Much of his test has been spent testing different adjustments with the longer swing arm, but we still have further work to do to get to a point where the whole package is working better for him. We have a very clear direction for the next test and race at Phillip Island."
Steve said, "I'm very happy with the progress that we've made and we're a lot closer to the pace than we were at Qatar which is positive. We made a large number of changes to various areas of the bike over the last two days and overall each element was in the right direction. It's a shame I wasn't able to get a really good final run on my qualifier as I think I could have made it in to the 1:36's, but I'm happy with my time as it would have got me easily into Superpole, which is the important thing as I know I can put together a good Superpole lap. The important thing is that we've found a really good base setting for me and also for the race here next month."
Garry said, "We continued testing with the longer swing arm this morning and I'm convinced that's a better feeling for me. I had a problem with the engine in my number one bike though and had to switch to my other bike with the standard length swing arm. I actually went quicker straight away on that but it's just not got the feeling I'm looking for so we need to do some more work with the longer one to get the whole package working better for how I'd like it. I'm happy with our suspension setting change from today as well and my time have been coming down with each session. I don't feel at the moment we've got an ideal set up for the race here at Valencia but we still have another test and race before that and I'm confident that in that time we can get to the settings I'm comfortable with."
Foggy PETRONAS Racing now heads to Phillip Island for continued testing on 26 and 27 March, ahead of the second round of the WSBK championship at `the Island' and Steve and Garry's home race, on Sunday 3 April.
<pre> Overall test lap times: 1 Corser Alstare Suzuki 1:35.566 2 Kagayama Alstare Suzuki 1:35.698 3 Vermeulen Ten Kate Honda 1:35.724 4 Laconi Ducati Xerox 1:35.881 5 Muggeridge Ten Kate Honda 1:36.084 6 Haga Yamaha Italia 1:36.347 7 Cardoso DFXtreme 1:36.443 8 Pitt Yamaha Italia 1:36.766 9 Walker PSG-1 Kawasaki 1:36.793 10 Chili Klaffi Honda 1:36.813 11 Martin Foggy PETRONAS Racing 1:37.038 12 Neukirchner Klaffi Honda 1:37.106 13 Toseland Ducati Xerox 1:37.183 14 Clementi Kawasaki Bertocchi 1:37.283 15 Gimbert Yamaha France 1:37.305 16 Lanzi Ducati SC Caracchi 1:37.322 17 Sanchini PSG-1 Kawasaki 1:37.345 18 Abe Yamaha France 1:37.347 19 Vizziello Italia Lorenzini 1:37.369 20 Alfonsi DFX 1:37.437 21 Borciani DFXtreme 1:37.583 22 Bostrom Renegade Koji 1:37.757 23 Bussei Kawasaki Bertocchi 1:37.874 24 Riba Kawasaki Racing 1:37.929 25 McCoy Foggy PETRONAS Racing 1:38.011 26 Nieto Ducati SC Caracchi 1:38.012 27 Pedercini Team Pedercini 1:38.324 28 Velini Team Pedercini 1:38.950 29 Praia DFXtreme 1:39.313 30 Nickmans Zone Rouge 1:40.606