|22 September 2004
Troy Corser will start his 200th World Superbike race this weekend in search of further honours to add to his impressive career statistics.
The 32-year-old Australian, together with Foggy PETRONAS Racing team-mate Chris Walker, enters the penultimate round of the championship at Imola, Italy, determined to provide additional proof of the progress made in developing the PETRONAS FP1, the first Malaysian superbike.
Troy has so far this season added to his record-breaking number of pole positions with a stunning qualifying performance at Oschersleben, as well as notching another podium finish in his second campaign on the FP1, and has no intention of resting on his laurels.
He said: “To start so many races is something I never expected when I started in World Superbikes – 200 is a lot of racing! I have enjoyed good results in every season and I would like to think there are good results left in this season.
“Apart from a couple of years, I have raced in this championship since 1994 and I see my future in superbikes. The championship is going to get bigger again, with teams coming back and even closer racing.”
Troy still holds the fastest Superpole lap at Imola, with a time of 1:48.694 and finished second in 2001. He added: “It’s a track I like and it shouldn’t be too bad for us as the chassis is really important. It’s fairly twisty but also fast, so you need a bike that steers really well. It’s going to be important to find the right tyre and set-up as the surface is also pretty bumpy. It’s a bit of a cross between Brands Hatch and Phillip Island, so I am hopeful we can run in the top five.”
Chris said: “I am desperate to do a good job in the last two back-to-back rounds. I think the FP1 should go well at Imola and Troy did well to finish seventh twice last year. It’s a great track to ride – old-fashioned and with a lot of character – but it’s sometimes a bit slippery, depending on how much the F1 cars have been on it.”
Of the current Superbike World Championship racers only Frankie Chili has started more races than Troy, who will reach the landmark in the first of Sunday’s two races. But one of Troy’s current records, as the youngest World Superbike champion at the age of 24, is under threat from 22-year-old rookie Chris Vermeulen, one of four riders in with a realistic chance of claiming the title in a thrilling finish to the season.
Troy Corser stats
Points (after 9 of 11 rounds)
Rider standings: 1 Toseland 255; 2 Vermeulen 252; 3 Laconi 245; 4 Haga 241; 5 Chili 213; 6 McCoy 163; 7 Martin 144; 8 Haslam 140; 9 Corser 127; 10 Borciani 114; 11 Walker 112
Manufacturer standings: 1 Ducati 430; 2 Honda 259; 3 PETRONAS 173; 4 Kawasaki 106; 5 Suzuki 84; 6 Yamaha 60