Weather conspires to thwart FPR qualifying challenge
A damp French morning denied Foggy PETRONAS Racing riders Steve Martin and Craig Jones the chance to challenge for the final Superpole of the season at Magny-Cours, France.
With the track drying slowly from overnight rain only a handful of riders ventured onto the slippery surface and times were substantially slower than the first Friday afternoon qualifying session.
So Steve and Craig will start on tomorrow's grid from 21st and 25th respectively, with Troy Corser claiming pole position just as he did on the PETRONAS FP1 two seasons ago.
Both FPR riders used the warm and dry afternoon free practice session to good effect, with Craig slashing 1.5 seconds off his best time from yesterday. Steve's best lap also improved by half a second to 1:41.786, a time which would have been marginally outside yesterday's Superpole qualifying time.
Craig said: "I missed this morning's track time, which would have helped me learn the circuit better. There were a couple of ups and a couple of downs in the afternoon but my race times were fairly consistent and I did my fastest time on the hardest tyre. The bike was as good as we can get it and I need two good starts to challenge for some points in the team's final races."
Steve said: "I was pretty happy with the afternoon session as I did the fastest time I have done round here on race tyres - it was certainly a big improvement on yesterday. My time might have been just outside the qualifying mark but we had a full tank of fuel and I wasn't busting a gut for lap time in free practice. Last year I struggled to find consistent times on race tyres but this year the consistency feels good. I just hope the weather is dry, because this place is diabolical to ride in the wet. And I hope both Craig and I can have two good races each to end the project on a positive note."
Superbike World Championship, round 12, Magny-Cours, France
Saturday qualifying times:
Saturday free practice times: