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Foggy PETRONAS Racing riders remain positive at Imola

Foggy PETRONAS Racing riders Steve Martin and Craig Jones retained a positive outlook after the first day of qualifying for the 11th round of the Superbike World Championship at Imola, Italy, today.

Steve finished one place out of the provisional Superpole line-up in 17th while Craig, at his first visit to the circuit, made progress throughout the day to finish 29th - but just three seconds off the pace set by James Toseland.

Steve said: “Obviously I want to be in Superpole for what might be the last World Superbike race at Imola and if I can improve on everything just a little then I am confident that I will make the top 16 tomorrow. There are a lot of areas where we can improve, including suspension and engine fuelling. Coming from a circuit like Lausitzring I need to soften the suspension off all around, as this circuit is a lot bumpier. For some reason I seem to struggle in practice here but the worst I have been in recent years’ races is sixth so I am still positive about the weekend.”

Craig, who improved on his morning time by more than 2.5 seconds, said: “I am only 3.1 seconds off the front boys, so I can’t moan. And I know I can go faster tomorrow straight away after a night to think about things. It’s fairly similar to a lot of UK tracks with a lot of ups and downs, but if you put some of these guys on Oulton Park or Cadwell they wouldn’t know where they are going. Steve gave me a few tips this morning which were really helpful. He said I was scrubbing too much speed off and that I needed to flow better between corners by carrying a bit more entry speed.”