FPR struggle in the heat of Italian battle
Steve Martin was unable to capitalise on his front row grid position in challenging conditions at today's sixth round races of the Superbike World Championship in Misano, Italy.
The Australian was forced to pull into the pits while lying ninth in the first race after suffering an engine problem and, in the sweltering afternoon temperatures, Steve finished out of the points in 17th.
Foggy PETRONAS Racing team-mate Craig Jones also battled with high water temperatures in the second race, repeating his 21st position from the first race.
Troy Bayliss won the first race but crashed out in race two, when Andrew Pitt secured his first Superbike World Championship win.
Steve, whose qualifying performance was described by series organisers FG Sport as 'superhuman', was lapping consistently on a pace with Regis Laconi, Lorenzo Lanzi and Fonsi Nieto, when oil pressure warning lights ended his race after 16 laps.
He was able to run with the leading pack in the early stages of race two before the high water temperatures reduced the power of the engine.
Steve said: "I was pretty happy that we were getting the most out of the bike and heading for a result in the first race that everyone would have been happy with. My start was okay and when someone like Barros needs a few attempts to pass you on the brakes, you know you are going okay. I felt like I was racing and was doing the same times as three or four riders in front of me. But then the oil pressure warning light came on so I had no option but to pull in. When the temperature lights started flashing in the second race I lost a lot of acceleration, although 30 seconds off the lead was not too bad."
Craig said: "I got a good start and was in front of some decent guys in the first race. I was not going too badly but as soon as the tyres lost a bit of grip my lap times dropped. Then there was a problem with the gear position sensor and the bike was running on into the corners. In race two the bike was over-heating and that killed the power a little bit. But I closed the gap on the leaders in that second race and I can take encouragement from a weekend that started dismally. The aim this weekend was to finish both races and then make headway at the next few circuits, where I am a bit stronger."
Superbike World Championship round 6, Misano, Italy:
Race one results: