Foggy-Petronas FP1 – Malaysia’s Own Superbike

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  • Malaysia had our own superbike called the Foggy-Petronas FP1.

  • Built for WSBK racing from 2003, homologation called for 150 units.

  • Petronas and Momoto got into a legal case and importation stalled.

--Innity--

Did you know Malaysia did have our own superbike? Yes, we had the Foggy-Petronas FP1.

Background of the Foggy-Petronas FP1

Produced between January to July 2003, it was a homologation model for World Superbike Racing. Petronas and Sauber Petronas Engineering originally developed the Petronas 989cc GP1 prototype for MotoGP racing. However, the decided that they should try in Superbike racing first. The Suber Petronas F1 venture shot Petronas into international fame.

The FIM capped at 750cc for four cylinders, 900cc for triple, 1000cc for twins, however. In order to comply, the FP1’s engine capacity became 899.5cc. Petronas needed to produce 150 road-legal bikes for FIM Superbike homologation. The 899.5cc inline-Triple produced 127.4 bhp @ 10,000 RPM and 92.0 Nm @ 9,700 RPM. (The 300 PM space between max torque and max horsepower makes the engine peaky.) The FP1 is reputed to weigh only 181kg, giving the bike a good power-to-weight ratio, on the other hand.

Check out how it sounds like in Malaysia (possibly at Naza).

MSX International built the first 75 units in the UK by January 2003. They passed homologation inspection to contest in that year’s WSBK championship. Modenas needed to assemble the last 75 units by July 2003. Plans called for 100 for the public and 50 for racing.

World Superbike Racing

The Malaysian petroleum giant then secured the services of four-time WSBK Champion Carl “Foggy” Fogarty to run the team and the bike became better known as Foggy-Petronas FP1. The riders were WSBK Champion Troy Corser and James Haydon.

Unfortunately, the FIM shafted the entire FP1 racing concern. Suddenly, a new rule allowed ALL engine formats up to 1000cc. Sadly, everyone else outgunned the FP1, as a result.

In 2004, the FIM required that all bikes use Pirelli control tyres. In retaliation, the Japanese factory teams pulled out, leaving the Ducatis to run amok during the season. However, that allowed Corser to finish 2nd in San Marino. New signing Chris Walker finished 3rd at the Valencia season opener.

Momoto sues Petronas

In 2010, Motor Cycle New (MCN) discovered 60 FP1s in storage at Basildon, Essex. They were part of the first 75-unit batch to be shipped to Malaysia.

Malaysian motorcycle distributor bought them plus another 69 derelict ones and rebranded them as the Momoto MM1 in 2012. Unbeknownst to Momoto, Petronas had not paid for the approved permits (AP), customs and excise duties, which led to the Malaysian government seizing all 129 bikes.

Momoto sued Petronas for USD 83 million in 2013. The bikes ended up being forgotten.

Enter Lazante Motorsports

Fortunately, there seems to light on the horizon as the British race car restoration firm, Lazante Motorsports has acquired the bikes and will refurbish them to the original Petronas-green colour. It’s got the older-style four-piston Brembo brake calipers and Öhlins forks.

How will Petronas and Momoto react? We don’t know, but we do know that the intriguing Foggy-Petronas FP1 will be available at USD 32,000.

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