|29 September 2004
Carl Fogarty has called for a morale-boosting finale to the Superbike World Championship from his Foggy PETRONAS Racing riders Chris Walker and Troy Corser at the final round in Magny-Cours, France.
Despite a disappointing display at Imola, the results in Italy last weekend were sufficient to secure a creditable third place in the manufacturers’ championship for PETRONAS.
And Carl is now hoping to follow that with a closing performance that will provide a springboard for further development progress during an extensive programme of winter testing.
He said: “We are really hoping to finish the season on a high note as the last two rounds have been close to disastrous and not what we expected. Magny-Cours is a circuit that we have tested at recently and so that should help. Going into Brands Hatch we knew we needed a lift and we got it, so I am hoping something similar will happen this weekend. But if we are not in the top six, none of us will be happy entering a long hard winter.”
Unofficial times from the FPR test in August at Magny-Cours – a mixed bag of a circuit with tight hairpins, medium speed corners and long straights – were just 0.2 seconds behind those recorded from a subsequent test for the factory Ducatis. Their two riders, James Toseland and Regis Laconi, will this weekend be fighting it out for the championship with rising Honda star Chris Vermeulen in a gripping climax to the season.
And the omens are good for fans’ favourite Chris Walker, who was third in both races at the French circuit last year, his best results on the World Superbike stage.
Chris said: “Magny-Cours was the best race meeting I had last year, when I was on the podium for both races for the only time in World Superbikes. We tested there last month and that was productive. We had a few problems but at least we ironed them out and are now in good shape for the race. Troy was really fast at the test and I was just a fraction behind him, so bring it on! We will come out fighting and hopefully be able to turn things round after Imola.”
Troy said: “We should perform well in France as we had a good test there and found some good settings and good tyre choices. We are all hoping for a positive last round to show the progress that the FP1 has made throughout this year.”
Circuit information: Magny-Cours, France
Superpole: James Toseland 1:40.965 (2003)
Lap record (race): Neil Hodgson 1:41.219 (2003)
Best lap: Neil Hodgson 1:40.754 (2003)
Pole position: Right
Circuit length: 4.411km
Corners: 9 left, 11 right
Corner radius: 5m minimum, 474.45 maximum
Maximum slope: Downward 2.68 per cent. Upward 2.38 per cent
Points (after 10 of 11 rounds)