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FPR face uphill battle at Monza

Foggy PETRONAS Racing riders Craig Jones and Steve Martin have realistic expectations going into the fourth round of the Superbike World Championship at Monza this weekend.

At an Italian circuit steeped in history, the FPR team will be hoping recent history does not repeat itself.

The venue, with its famous long straights, is known to favour the most powerful bikes in the field and has not previously rewarded the sweet-handling characteristics of the PETRONAS FP1.

So, although Steve qualified on the front row of the grid at the previous round in Valencia, the team is prepared for an uphill battle to secure valuable points.

Craig, in his first season on the world stage, will be making his first appearance at Monza. He said: "I don't feel any pressure this weekend because I have never been to the circuit before. It is going to take a day to learn the place so I just want to go out and enjoy myself. Carl has said that it is not the hardest place to learn, and hopefully he will be able to give me plenty of advice. It is a tough circuit for us but we need to keep that in mind and not panic. I am a lot more upbeat following the second race in Spain. Despite the problems we had it was good to be up there racing again."

Steve said: "This is probably going to be a tricky weekend for us. Everyone knows that Monza is a power circuit, and last year was a disaster for us. It is full of long straights and the fastest bike usually wins the race. So if we can finish both races in the points I think we will have done extremely well. I have also not started behind second row on the grid so I will be giving everything for Superpole again. It is hard approaching a weekend thinking that way, but that does not mean I will not be giving it 100 per cent, and we will also be using the track time for the continual development of the PETRONAS FP1 for future rounds."

Circuit information: Monza, Italy
Pole position: Left
Circuit length: 5.793km
Corners: 5 left, 8 right
Corner radius: 610m maximum, 12.5m minimum
Maximum slope: 2.4 per cent