Disappointing finale for Foggy PETRONAS Racing in France
Foggy PETRONAS Racing's final races in the Superbike World Championship ended in disappointment at Magny-Cours in France.
Craig Jones finished a valiant 17th in the first race of the final round of the season but engine failures meant that neither he, nor team-mate Steve Martin, were able to complete race two.
Both FPR riders made good starts to a re-started first race and had moved up to 16th and 17th by the end of lap four before Craig overtook his team-mate on lap seven. After Steve's retirement soon after with another engine failure, Craig was in a points-scoring position for much of the race before being caught by Josh Brookes and Vito Ianuzzo on the penultimate lap.
Team owner Carl Fogarty summed up the five-year project, backed by petroleum giant PETRONAS, to build and race the first Malaysian superbike. He said: "I want to thank PETRONAS for all their support throughout this unique project. From the very first day we knew we were taking on a big challenge, to compete against the established motorcycle manufacturers. While we were all hoping for better results, the achievements of this project have been considerable, especially when considering the fact that the 900cc PETRONAS FP1 has been racing against 1000cc machines for reasons outside of the project's hands. I have been proud of the efforts of my team over these four years and, while today was a disappointing finale, the same effort was there until the very last minute. Steve has done as much as he could over his two years with us and Craig has learnt a lot for what will hopefully be a bright future for him. The support from fans has also been incredible and I think they have all appreciated how hard we have battled for our results. My team has developed a reputation for professional excellence and I am very confident that this reputation will help us attract a sponsor for 2007 and beyond so that we can continue to chase racing success."
Steve said: "The racing hasn't always gone as planned over the last couple of years but I am happy to have spent that time with such a brilliant team. I would like to thank PETRONAS for having the ambition to take on such a challenging project, Carl for putting his faith in me as a rider, and everyone who has supported the team. We have never stopped trying throughout and it was disappointing that we could not end on a more positive note today."
Craig said: "It has been a really tough year but I think I have learnt a lot. It has been a very big step for me to come to World Superbikes and I would like to thank PETRONAS, the team and Carl for giving me the opportunity. I want to be back in World Superbikes next year, put everything I have learnt to good use and show everyone what I can do."
James Toseland won a thrilling opener to secure second place in the championship and new world champion Troy Bayliss clinched victory in a second enthralling contest.
Superbike World Championship, round 12, Magny-Cours, France:
Race two results
Race one results: