PETRONAS today unveiled the much anticipated road version of its PETRONAS FP1 motorcycle, Malaysia’s very own first superbike. The launch of the machine was held at PETRONAS’ fine art gallery, the GALERI PETRONAS, in Kuala Lumpur and was officiated by Malaysia’s Minister of Youth and Sports Dato’ Hishammuddin Tun Hussein. The event was also graced by the presence of PETRONAS’ Chairman Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Azizan Zainul Abidin.
Also present at the launch was Mr. Carl Fogarty, Principal of the Foggy PETRONAS Racing Team that has been charting up considerable success with the race version of the bike in the World Superbike Championship race circuits.
The launch of the PETRONAS FP1 marks another important milestone for PETRONAS in its pursuit for excellence in the field of advanced engineering and technology. It also reflects PETRONAS’ success and ability in harnessing the technology and expertise acquired through its involvement in the various fields of motor sports while developing and nurturing the capability of Malaysia’s human capital.
A total of 150 units of the road version of the FP1 have been manufactured to meet the condition set by the FÃ©dÃ©ration Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) before it could allow the Foggy PETRONAS Racing Team to compete in the World Superbike Championship. The first batch of 75 units of the bikes was manufactured in the United Kingdom and had passed inspection in March of this year. The second batch of the bikes was assembled in Malaysia by PETRONAS using the resources and facilities of motorcycle manufacturer, MODENAS, in Gurun, Kedah. This batch passed FIM’s inspection in July.
Of the 150 units, PETRONAS will make available to interested superbike enthusiasts 100 units of this limited edition of the PETRONAS FP1.
The FP1 began as a prototype engine undertaken by SAUBER PETRONAS Engineering AG (SPE), a joint venture formed in 1996 between Sauber Holdings and PETRONAS to further add value to their relationship forged a year earlier in the Formula One arena. SPE has since progressed from just meeting the engineering needs of the SAUBER PETRONAS Formula One Team to embarking on several projects, the most notable of which are the EO1 two-litre car engine and the GP1, the prelude to the FP1, using cutting-edge Formula One technology. Other initiatives included R&D in the areas of fuel and lubricant technology.
Speaking at the launch, PETRONAS’ Chairman Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Azizan Zainul Abidin said the FP1 represented the coming of age of a new breed of Malaysian engineers who had proven their ability in the hi-tech automotive industry. “They have triumphed through various trials associated with Formula One to become specialists in fuel, lubricants, engines, electronics, chassis, aerodynamics, component and suspension development.
“Indeed, PETRONAS takes pride that we have played a vital role in nation building by helping to develop technical skills and expertise.
“Of great significance is also the fact that we have successfully commercialised the technology and expertise we acquired through our involvement in motor sports.”
Tan Sri Azizan added that the knowledge base acquired in advanced technologies would not only go a long way in contributing to Malaysia’s aspiration to become fully industrialised by the year 2020 but would also help in PETRONAS’ strive to maintain the competitive edge needed to grow and sustain its businesses.
The PETRONAS FP1 will be on display at GALERI PETRONAS, Level 3, Suria KLCC, until 5 November 2003.
Media Relations & Information Department