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Progress for FPR after day one of Spanish test

Both Foggy PETRONAS Racing riders made strides forward during the first day of the official Superbike World Championship test at Valencia, Spain, today.

Steve Martin finished the day 13th fastest out of the full World Superbike field, with a time of 1:37.07 which bettered his previous fastest at the circuit on the PETRONAS FP1, despite experiencing an engine failure towards the end of the first session which caused a spectacular high-side from which he escaped uninjured. Team-mate Craig Jones also made in-roads into his previous best time at the circuit as he gained further valuable track experience and set-up knowledge.

The team were also able to compare a new engine development, featuring a new cam-shaft designed to improve the mid-range power spread, to that used at Phillip Island in the recent races.

Troy Bayliss, who is leading the championship after the opening two races, set the pace once again with a time of 1:35.220.

Steve, who was 10th fastest after the morning session, said: "I was lucky to get away with the crash but, although this may sound strange, I am glad that it happened in one respect. I haven't really given my body a knock since my operation last year and it is good to get it over and done with and know that I am just as strong as I used to be. I have not been too worried about lap times as I only used two rear tyres in each session and I am sure I could have bettered my time if I had stuck a softer one in at the end. Our aim is to do consistent times on race times so that we can fully evaluate the different engine configurations. There is no doubt that the new camshaft provided more torque, but at the expense of top speed down the main straight. However, on race tyres, I was able to match my qualifying time from the race weekend last year, and was able to lap in the low 37s throughout the day."

Craig said: "I am reasonably pleased because, although I did not do any quick times today, we have made progress and have a direction to go in with the bike's set-up. I have found a front end set-up that I quite like and a back-end set-up that I also quite like. It's just a question of putting together the whole package now. I have gone a second quicker than when we tested here last year and we have got a game plan for tomorrow to reduce the times further."

First day times, Superbike World Championship official test, Valencia, Spain:
1 Bayliss 1:35.220; 2 Corser 1:36.080; 3 Barros 1:36.292; 4 Haga 1:36.309; 5 Muggeridge 1:36.327; 6 Lanzi 1:36.360; 7 Walker 1:36.450; 8 Kagayama 1:36.725; 9 Pitt 1:36.740; 10 Nieto 1:36.808; 13 Martin (Foggy PETRONAS Racing) 1:37.072; 28 Jones (Foggy PETRONAS Racing) 1:40.226