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Martin aims to deliver in Italy!

Steve Martin will be hoping to deliver in more ways than one as he enters his penultimate race for Foggy PETRONAS Racing at Imola this weekend.

The experienced Australian's partner, Sandra Cork, is expecting their first child in the period between the start of this weekend's 11th round of the Superbike World Championship in Italy and the following week's finale at Magny-Cours, France.

So, while FPR team-mate Craig Jones concentrates on building on recently improved results, Steve will also have one eye on off-track developments.

Steve, whose home is on the Italian border with Switzerland, said: "Unless the baby is born in the next couple of days she will be coming to Imola this weekend and I have left it up to her whether she travels to Magny-Cours. As long as we are always within half an hour of a hospital then everything should be okay. This project has always been on the edge, so it's nothing new!

"The last two rounds have shown that we can consistently score points on the PETRONAS FP1 so, if everything goes well and we have a bit of luck, we can score points again at Imola. It is one of the classically styled tracks like Brands Hatch or Phillip Island - not an easy track to ride and that helps us a little bit. I had my best result there last year with a fifth, when the conditions were a bit 'iffy'. That's when team-craft comes into play and the FPR team has always been strong in that department."

For Craig it will be a testing end to his rookie season as he visits two circuits for the first time. However, having scored his first points last time out in Germany, he is hoping to continue moving up his World Superbike learning curve.

He said: "This is just a learning weekend for me. All I can really come away with is circuit knowledge, although it would be nice to get some more points. I will push as hard as I can but I am not setting myself any targets that I can't achieve. I have only seen Imola on television and it looks a difficult circuit to learn, But if I can make more progress this weekend, then hopefully I can challenge for a result at Magny-Cours, which doesn't seem as difficult to learn."