Foggy Petronas Racing riders Chris Walker and Troy Corser were separated by just four hundredths of a second after the first day of action at round two of the World Superbike championship, at Phillip Island, Australia.

With just half a second separating Noriyuki Haga in fifth and Corser in 12th, both riders were confident that further set-up changes would maximise the performance of the Pirelli tyres and further close the gap on pace-setter Regis Laconi, who set a blistering time of 1 minute 34.068 seconds.

Walker finished the first free practice session in eighth, the first of the non-Ducati riders, with Corser in eleventh.

Then, while the notorious wind picked up at the picturesque coastal circuit and prevented significant improvements in lap times, Walker shaved a tenth off to record his best time of 1m 35.832s, with Troy hot on his tail with a lap of 1m 35.871s.

"I didn't have the best of sessions in the afternoon as the bike was overheating," explained Walker, "And, when I did try a qualifying tyre, I got stuck in a bit of traffic with one guy wobbling into the pits on the racing line and ignoring the blue flags, while oil flags were also out after Leon Haslam had crashed.

"I have done a bit of work on what we think will be the race tyre but I am hoping to get a bit more out of it tomorrow. If I can lap consistently half a second faster, then we will have a chance for the race. My ideal lap time - which combines the best splits - is 1:35.3, so we are not too far away."

"I improved my set-up in the afternoon by changing the internals in the front forks, which seemed to help the bike turn better," added Corser, "We also altered the rear ride height which gave us a bit more grip. Considering I was down on top speed, there is nothing in it from 5th to 12th so, with a different engine for tomorrow, I am hoping to make up some more time.

"I wanted to save my qualifiers until tomorrow and, while I have chosen my race tyres, I was still getting some chatter although the set-up changes did improve it. The wind also picked up in the afternoon and was blowing you all over the track, which probably limited the improvements I could make."



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