FPR's experienced and youthful pairing of Steve Martin and Craig Jones today made significant progress with the team's pre-season testing programme, on the third of a four day test at Phillip Island.
Steve Martin was again straight on the pace with his PETRONAS FP1 and finished the day second in the timesheet, with a time of 1:33.40 - an improvement of over half a second from his best time yesterday.
A race simulation was planned for Steve during the afternoon, but a rising track temperature to in excess of fifty five degrees, resulted in his efforts being turned to further systems' management evaluation.
Team-mate Craig Jones completed almost eighty laps over the course of the day as he worked on the set-up of his FP1, to include geometry, suspension and chassis adjustments in preparation for the race at Phillip Island in six weeks. The young Brit was also able to knock a further one second off his lap time to achieve a respectable 1:35.6.
Steve commented, "It's been a good day and we were able to take another half a second off my lap time by using the new 2006 race tyre compounds which we evaluated this morning. We've also done a fair bit of work with the suspension settings, on older tyres, which has been useful, and tomorrow I'm hopefully going to do two long runs to test the different tyres that Pirelli are bringing to the race here. I feel really good in myself physically this evening, and that I've got my 'bike fitness' back which is great."
Craig said, "I've spent a lot of the day working on the straight line stability and set-up of my bikes to suit this circuit and made good progress in both areas. I've learnt the track even more today and am now very confident with my racing line and braking points. We've got a good direction for tomorrow and I'm confident that we can come away from this test with a set-up for the race that I'm very happy with."
Unofficial Times (race tyres);
- 1. Troy Corser (Alstare Suzuki) 1:32.79
- 2. Steve Martin (Foggy PETRONAS Racing) 1:33.40
- 3. Yukio Kagayama (Alstare Suzuki) 1:33.68
- 4. Norick Abe (Yamaha France) 1:34.5 (1:34.0 - qualifying tyre)
- 5. Sebastien Gimbert (Yamaha France) 1:34.6 (1:34.2 - qualifying tyre)
- 6. Shinichi Nakatomi (Yamaha France) 1:35.1
- 7. Craig Jones (Foggy PETRONAS Racing) 1:35.6