Collecting Cars

2003 PETRONAS FP1

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This Petronas FP1 is a pristine example of an authentic homologation superbike, presented in as-new condition following a thorough refurbishment after a long period in storage. Its engine is a 900cc Suter Racing three-cylinder motor, producing 127hp, which is coupled to a six-speed transmission. The bike has only 11 km (7 miles) on the odometer, and is now an EU taxes-paid vehicle with UK NOVA clearance.

FP1 stands for ‘Foggy Petronas One’, and just 150 were built to homologate it for World Superbike racing, as a joint venture between Carl Fogarty and oil and gas company Petronas. Beneath its boldly styled carbon-fibre bodywork is a range of high-grade components, including Öhlins suspension, Brembo brakes and OZ Racing wheels. The dry weight is just 181kg.

A change in the World Superbike regulations to allow up to 1000cc capacity meant that the race version of the 900cc FP1 was outgunned on the grid, so the team was not as competitive as it would have hoped. Some of the road-going versions built in 2003 were acquired by people connected to the project within the next few years, but few if any actually made it into the hands of customers. Instead, most of the bikes were kept in long-term storage as disputes took place between various parties.

Having emerged from its 16-year slumber, this particular FP1 was imported to the UK, and it was subsequently fully refurbished in early 2020. The bike comes with a NOVA certificate to confirm that duty and taxes have been paid, and there is also a dating certificate that specifies frame and engine numbers and the date of production. It has never been registered for the road, but these documents will allow it to be done very easily should the next owner desire.

Its carbon-fibre bodywork is in outstanding condition. The panels have had a professional respray in the original Panache Green, and the seller states that the vibrant finish is genuinely immaculate. Any exposed carbon-fibre has been re-lacquered to a very high standard. The body trims, light lenses and wing mirrors are all in very good order, and the correct period livery has been applied.

The mechanical refurbishment included a thorough inspection of the wiring, along with installation of a new battery. The fuel pump was flushed, fuel lines drained and flushed, and the brakes were rebuilt. The brake fluid and clutch fluid were also renewed. The Michelin tyres are original, so will need changing to fresh rubber if the intention is to use it on the road or track.

Riding the road-going FP1 in 2012, Michael Guy of MCN reported: “Although the race team had engine braking issues, the road-going FP1 is stunning on the run into corners. The lower power triple and superb slipper clutch make it feel more two-stroke than big capacity four-stroke.”

This Petronas FP1 is a rare and thrilling superbike. It is finished in the same eye-catching colour scheme as the works team bikes, with a detuned engine being the only significant difference between the racing and road-legal versions. Following its factory completion and subsequent storage, this particular example has now been refurbished to as-new condition, needing only a fresh pair of tyres before the next owner can fully exploit its impressive performance.

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