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Martin sizzles for Foggy PETRONAS Racing in Misano

Steve Martin was on sizzling form in the sweltering heat of the first day's action at the sixth round of the Superbike World Championship in Misano.

The Foggy PETRONAS Racing rider finished fifth fastest, just 0.06 seconds off the provisional front row time and 0.4 seconds behind pace-setter, Troy Bayliss.

Track temperatures of around 50 degrees posed problems with grip as riders struggled to match their times from the recent test at the Italian circuit.

But Steve bounced back from a problematic morning practice session to better his previous fastest lap at the circuit on race rubber by 0.3 seconds.

He said: "Everything started to click together in the second session after a morning to forget. I was behind Bayliss and Barros and managed to stay with them for a few laps, the first time I have been able to do that this year. I spent most of the session on hard tyres but switched to softer ones at the end to do the fast lap. I didn't actually know what time I had done, but I saw everyone looking pretty pleased on pit-wall and guessed that it was a pretty fast lap."

Team-mate Craig Jones struggled on his second outing here. He said: "I thought we had moved on leaps and bounds since the test here, so I don't know what has gone wrong today. I was struggling with the feel of the bike, especially at the front, and lost a lot of confidence."

Friday qualifying times
Superbike World Championship round 6, Misano, Italy:

1 Bayliss 1:34.903;
2 Corser 1:35.016;
3 Laconi 1:35.166;
4 Walker 1:35.255;
5 Martin (Foggy PETRONAS Racing) 1:35.313;
6 Pitt 1:35.448;
7 Fabrizio 1:35.466;
8 Toseland 1:35.553;
9 Kagayama 1:35.561;
10 Nieto 1:35.667;
29 Jones (Foggy PETRONAS Racing) 1:38.339

Friday free practice times:
1 Bayliss (Ducati Xerox) 1:35.051;
2 Corser (Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra) 1:35.168;
3 Laconi (PSG1 Kawasaki) 1:35.504;
4 Lanzi (Ducati Xerox) 1:35.528;
5 Kagayama (Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra) 1:35.711;
6 Walker (PSG1 Kawasaki) 1:35.740;
7 Pitt (Yamaha Italia) 1:35.800;
8 Toseland (Winston Ten Kate Honda) 1:35.846;
9 Nieto (PSG1 Kawasaki) 1:35.881;
10 Barros (Klaffi Honda) 1:36.045;
19 Martin (Foggy PETRONAS Racing) 1:36.901;
30 Jones (Foggy PETRONAS Racing) 1:38.631