World exclusive: Foggy / Petronas deal sealed
It’s official. The lid on Foggy’s top secret plans has been lifted with the four-times World Superbike champion announcing "a once in a lifetime opportunity " with Petronas.
Foggy has agreed an initial five-year deal with the Malaysian oil and gas giant Petronas who will sponsor the 36-year-old to run his own World Superbike team, using a development of their GP1 engine that everybody thought would be raced in the four-stroke GP class. The new race squad will be called Foggy Petronas Racing and the bike will be raced for the first time in round five of next year's WSB series at Monza after an extensive winter testing programme.
More significantly in a move that is groundbreaking for motorcycling, Petronas has agreed to fund a production model using Foggy's name as the company looks to break into the road sales market.
Foggy, who was forced to retire through injury last year, said: "This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and the biggest deal of my career. I am determined to repay the faith shown in me by Petronas by displaying the same commitment to winning that I showed during my riding career.
"I have been focused on setting up my own team since retirement but did not dream I would be doing it as a new manufacturer. So I am doubly determined to make this a success. My company, Team Foggy Racing Ltd, has been working on this deal for months and it is such a relief to be finally able to announce it to the world.
Foggy raced for a Petronas-backed team in the Malaysian championships in 1992 and used his friendship with businessman David Wong, Petronas' consultant in their World Superbike project, to set up the deal.
News of Foggy and the Petronas collaboration was welcomed by Paolo Flammini, president of SBK International, who runs the WSB series.
"Carl Fogarty is a legend of superbikes and we are extremely happy that he will continue his new life in our championship. This initiative is further proof of the appeal of the World Superbike series had towards the motorcycle industry."
It is understood that the Sauber Petronas four stroke GP project will run in parallel with their WSB effort.
A Foggy road bike should be available in the showrooms in the near future after Petronas announced it will also fund the mass production of a Foggy branded machine.
An official team launch is planned in Malaysia in January.