Mixed Fortunes for Steve in Qatar The opening races of the 2007 World Superbike Championship in Qatar were of mixed fortunes for Steve Martin, with the Aussie taking 11th and 18th places in races one and two respectively. The minor set up ...
Mixed Fortunes for Steve in Qatar
The opening races of the 2007 World Superbike Championship in Qatar were of mixed fortunes for Steve Martin, with the Aussie taking 11th and 18th places in races one and two respectively.
The minor set up changes made to Steve's Honda CBR1000RR overnight aided the machine's handling for the morning warm up, in which Steve took 12th place in the timesheet.
Starting from the fifth row of the grid, Steve achieved an excellent start in race one to move up to 14th by the fourth lap. He quickly found a competitive pace with consistent lap times to keep the trail of bikes behind him at bay. Then with the Kawasaki team pairing taking each other out on lap 12, Steve was elevated to 12th and after a further two laps he got the better of Nakatomi with a perfectly set up overtaking manoeuvre, to take 11th place and five points at the end of the eighteen lap race.
Race two was less fruitful however, with changes made to Steve's Honda after race one proving to have a greater effect on the bike's set up than anticipated and resulting in excessive tyre destruction.
Steve commented, "This weekend was always going to be tough as it was the first time we had a number of new parts and were able to ride and test the bike with all these new elements together. That ultimately meant we spent a lot of the track sessions working on bike set up and essentially 'testing', which is never going to be ideal for being competitive at a race weekend.
"Whilst I made some good progress in race one, I'm still a bit disappointed with 11th as that is not a position I want to be in and know I am capable of so much more with a competitive package, but I guess at least I did get some points in the bag.
"We made a few small changes to the bike in between the races, but these actually caused significant tyre wear in race two so I just wasn't able to hold a consistent lap time and went backwards. The bike's new electronic system is also not up to scratch and when racing against the factory guys you've just got to have the full package!
"At this point we are still learning the bike and working through new part evaluation and base set up options, so I am confident there is a lot more to come and hopefully it will, very soon!"
Steve now returns to Australia for the second round of the championship at the picturesque Philip Island circuit next weekend.