It’s been nearly a decade since Troy Corser lined up his Foggy Petronas GP1 on the front row of the grid at the Valencia round of the World Superbike Championship. Sixteen months earlier, the bike had existed only in a few people’s imaginations. One of those people was Carl Fogarty.
The GP1 was the brainchild of a collaboration between Fogarty and Petronas, and had a 900cc triple designed by the same people who made the Sauber Petronas F1 engines. It first raced in the 2003 SBK championship. In 2003, however, the SBK rules had just changed to allow 1000 cc bikes, and though the GP1 had some good results it was ultimately not competitive. By 2006, it was totally outclassed by the Japanese literbikes, and the project was terminated at the end of that year.
The bikes of World Superbike must be based on production machines, so the GP1 was homologated as the FP1 (think RC30, Yamaha R7, Ford RS200 or Ferrari 250 GTO). It was a special machine indeed. Developed alongside the GP1, it was also a 900cc triple. It made 127 bhp, had a dry clutch, and weighed right on 400 lbs.
Petronas produced 150 of these homologated bikes, and planned to release 100 of them for public consumption. For one reason or another, the bikes were never sold, but MCN discovered a hoard of 60 of them in Essex two years ago. The remainder were thought to reside in Malasia, and now it’s thought nearly all of them do.
Carl Fogarty – race team manager and figurehead of the ill-fated FP1 project – said when told the news: “You’re joking – that’s amazing!” It had been thought – and stated by the team – that the bikes were shipped to Malaysia five years ago and disposed of.
MCN has tracked down one of the homologated FP1s for a test ride in Switzerland, and here’s the video. After ten years of waiting, it could be a little longer, but we think that it’s supposed to generate interest in sales rather than provide in-depth information about the bike’s capabilities. In any case, it’s great to hear the fabulous sound of the bike and see the journalist’s obvious excitement.
More of that sound:
For more on the FP1: