Carl Fogarty is trying hard to keep his expectations in check as the Foggy Petronas team prepares for its second season of World Superbike competition, which starts this weekend in Valencia.

Last season, Foggy's outfit made an instant impact when Troy Corser put the three-cylinder FP1 onto the front row in Superpole, silencing their critics.

However, race day - and much of the season - would prove a tougher test and the 2003 season ended with a best result of fifth, claimed by Corser at his home circuit of Phillip Island.

One year of machine development and data gathering later - and with Chris Walker having replaced James Haydon - has left Foggy in confident mood, but the Brit remains fully aware of the hard work ahead.

"Our aim is to improve on last year as, to some extent, this is another year of development. It's hard for me to convince people of that, as expectations of my team are always going to be high," explained Carl. "And it's difficult for me to tell myself that we have to learn to walk before we can run. But it's important to remember we are still 40-50 years behind the likes of Honda and Ducati!

"I think this year's championship will be more competitive but, with the engine developments that we are confident of achieving later in the season, the aim is to get on the rostrom," he added. "I have now got two riders who, in my opinion, are as good as any in this championship. Chris has been close to Troy during winter testing and the competition between them to push each other along."

Corser finished the final pre-season test, at Valencia, sixth with team-mate Walker twelfth.

Valencia first qualifying takes place this Friday.



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