Carl Fogarty is expecting improvements to the Petronas FP1 to bear fruit for riders Troy Corser and Chris Walker at the seventh round of the Superbike World Championship at Laguna Seca, USA, this weekend.

His Foggy Petronas Racing team have been working closely with the Petronas engine development team to maximise the benefits of the latest modifications to the FP1 - the first Malaysian superbike. And, having achieved greater reliability and consistency during the first half of the season, the aim is now to produce the power and torque output necessary to challenge the front-runners on a regular basis.

"I am hopeful for top six finishes at this round and at the next round at Brands because the bike should be more on a par with the others at those circuits," said Fogarty. "We have done a lot of work on modifications to the engine since Silverstone on the dyno and now it is a matter of fine-tuning that work for the track. We will still be down on speed, but it shouldn't affect us as much as it did at Silverstone, except maybe out of the last turn."

Both FPR riders have enjoyed previous success at Laguna, a technical circuit situated near the California resort of Monterey, which is the slowest on the calendar with top speeds around the 240kmh mark. Troy was a winner in 1995, 1998 and 2000, while Chris, who is still recovering from the three fractured ribs he sustained at Silverstone, was on the podium last year.

"It's a flowing circuit where the chassis is more important than the engine, especially through sections like the Corkscrew, which I always enjoy," admitted Bayliss. "It's a riders' circuit, where you have to be spot on where you put the bike in order to get the best out of a lap. We are hoping to have more acceleration at the top end and there's no reason why we shouldn't be challenging for a top five finish."

"I am really looking forward to the weekend, despite my injury," said Walker. "I have been struggling to sleep, but I should still be around 70 per cent fit. Troy should go really well here and that should help me. I was on the podium last year but Laguna is not a track I have instantly clicked with. Hopefully, it is only a matter of time before I do and the improvements to the engine should help."

Some improvements that have recently been made to the FP1 include a revised bell-mouth geometry combined with inlet port changes, providing a smoother power curve. There have also been revisions to the exhaust system, with primary pipe cross-overs improving the scavenging of the cylinders at high rpm in order to produce more power and torque, and a new STM slipper clutch has been fitted, which provides smoother and more precise control on corner entry as well as off the line.

 

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