Uphill battle for FPR pair in Spain Foggy PETRONAS Racing riders Steve Martin and Garry McCoy face an uphill battle in tomorrow's two races at the third round of the Superbike World Championship in Valencia, Spain. Steve starts from the fourth...
Uphill battle for FPR pair in Spain
Foggy PETRONAS Racing riders Steve Martin and Garry McCoy face an uphill battle in tomorrow's two races at the third round of the Superbike World Championship in Valencia, Spain.
Steve starts from the fourth row of the grid after qualifying in 14th while team-mate Garry is a row behind after failing to make a Superpole shoot-out dominated by Troy Corser.
Both Aussies fought throughout the day with front-end chatter problems and Steve struggled to match his times from a recent test at the tight and twisty circuit.
Jack said: "The main problem seems to be front end chatter for both riders. The new specification engine is obviously quicker down the straights but is a bit peaky. Also, the problem they have had with backing into corners is more evident at this on-off type of circuit. Combined, they are upsetting the whole balance of the bike and, because the chatter is inconsistent, it is knocking the confidence of the riders. Garry feels the earlier engine is more user-friendly and we will decide overnight which specification to use for the races. But it should be remembered that this class is far more competitive than MotoGP and, if you haven't got it just right, half a second can make all the difference. And, when you look at the quality of some of the riders behind us, we are not doing too badly considering the fact that we are still developing the bike."
Garry said: "I went quicker this morning but unfortunately didn't manage to get into Superpole. I think I could have gone quicker on that fastest lap but got caught up behind someone in the last corner. In the afternoon I concentrated on finding something comfortable for the race and, although we have made progress throughout the day, it came a little too late for qualification purposes. The latest engine development is definitely quicker at the top end but, for tracks like Valencia, you also need power delivery at the bottom end so I tried reverting to the previous stage of engine in the afternoon and was able to do more consistent lap times. I think it might be easier to ride for 23 laps tomorrow, although comparing the two, we are doing similar lap times. Starting from the fifth row we have got a bit of catching up to do but I like to race and tomorrow is another day."
Steve said: "We persevered with the newer engine and tried to dial the chatter out. But I will try the previous engine specification in morning warm-up. I did also suffer with some chatter here at our test but I would prefer to have chatter at 37s rather than 38s! We are going into the corners with a lot more revs and I can't ride the bike like that. I did a couple of practice starts, as my starts have not been great to date, and they both seemed to go pretty well. So, hopefully, I will have the starting bug out of my system and I can get stuck into the race and finish with good points."