Vermeulen Third Quickest After Fraught First Qualifying
Day one of the Ten Kate Team's home event at Assen proved an eventful one for all concerned, and an ultimately rewarding one for Chris Vermeulen (Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR) who set the third best time, despite overcoming challenges on many fronts.
Pierfrancesco Chili (Ducati) secured provisional pole, with a 2:04.028 lap, heading up another private Ducati rider Gianluca Nannelli and the hard charging Vermeulen, who set a time of 2:04.859 on race tyres.
A front row provisional starting position is a just reward for a day of hard work for all the team, as Vermeulen explained. "We had some different front forks to try and I had problems with brakes in one bike, so we've been all over the place in the last two sessions. I was also testing a few different tyres, harder ones hoping they might work and at the end we used what we had already predicted to be our race tyres. I just stuck it in and it was better. I'm still a little bit lost right now but the bike is still going well."
Team Manager Ronald Ten Kate put day one in perspective. "I'm pretty happy with that considering that we didn't use any of our qualifying tyres yet. I can't speak for the other guys at the front but certainly some looked like they used very softy tyres. We also had a lot of problems, troubles to sort out throughout the session and a lot of different things did not go as expected. So, at the end of the day, I'm pretty happy that we are up there and I'm sure we can do even better tomorrow. Looking at the times we have done in testing there is something more to come."
Final qualifying and Superpole, which will determine the final grid position for the races, take place on Saturday 4th September.
Muggeridge and Parkes Go 1-2 On The Opening Day At Assen
Karl Muggeridge (Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR) and Broc Parkes (Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR) topped the first day's qualifying sheets at their team's home circuit of Assen, with Muggeridge over one second faster than even his pursuing team-mate. The championship leader's time of 2:06.279 came after a successful 45-minute session for both riders, watched by the enthusiastic Dutch crowd in the impressive Assen grandstands. In a new initiative unveiled at this event, a posse of team guests also viewed the action in the pit garage itself, from a gantry built specially for the occasion behind and above the working area.
Parkes, second quickest overall, set a best lap of 2:07.437, 1.188 seconds from Muggeridge and just ahead of another Honda rider, Sebastien Charpentier. Completing the provisional front row was Muggeridge's main title challenger, Jurgen van den Goorbergh, some 1.3 seconds adrift.
Cool and collected after his hot first lap, Muggeridge stated, "The bike's been working well and we concentrated on the chassis as much as we could. In the end we made little steps in a good direction. I don't know why we've got such a big gap on the first day be we were just making all the right decisions throughout. The new front forks are a real improvement but we have to get the settings just right. Set-up is never ending and we just chip away at things all the time."
Parkes, second quickest, knows he can improve his time if the predicted dry spell at Assen continues. "I always seem to get stuck on my fast laps, and that made me a bit frustrated. Karl's really fast, right on the money from the start. I think I was trying to get up to speed a little but too quickly, trying to put in a single fast lap time. Second quickest is OK, but I think there is more to come, if I can make the bike a little bit nicer get a little bit more grip and a clean lap in tomorrow."
Team Manager Ronald Ten Kate was enthused by the first day's positive results. "A lot of Karl's best lap time was due to the front forks, which we tried for the first time at Brands. There, we didn't get a perfect setting for them but here at our home track it is very much easier to find. We have the front working really well and the boys are making a great job on the bikes. I think that the little crowd we have in pitlane, in our little arena above the pit garage, gives a little bit extra. All in all, a dream start to the weekend. For Karl we can now begin working on race set-up almost exclusively because I really can't see him off the front row, even with just his Friday time."
<pre> First Qualifying 1. K. Muggeridge AUS Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR 2'06.249 2. B. Parkes AUS Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR 2'07.437 3. S. Charpentier FRA Honda CBR600RR 2'07.521 4. J. Vd Goorbergh Yamaha YZF R6 2'07.597 5. K. Curtain AUS Yamha YZF R6 2'07.664 6. A. Corradi ITA Honda CBR600RR 2'08.358 7. W. Daemen BEL Honda CBR600RR 2'08.481 8. K. Andersen NOR Kawasaki ZX6 RR 2'08.507 9. A. Pitt AUS Yamaha YZF R6 2'08.522 10. B. Veneman NED Suzuki GSX-R600 2'08.523