VERMEULEN ON PROVISIONAL SECOND ROW IN BRNO
Chris Vermeulen set the eighth fastest time in this afternoon's opening qualifying session for Sunday's two seventh round World Superbike championship races at Brno in the Czech Republic. Provisional pole position was taken by Britain's Chris Walker with Vermeulen's Winston Ten Kate Honda team-mate, Karl Muggeridge, currently lying in 14th place.
It is the first visit for both team and riders to the 5.4km Brno circuit, 220km south-east of Prague and today's practice and qualifying sessions were used by Vermeulen and Muggeridge to increase their knowledge of circuit layout and search for the ideal set-up for their Honda CBR1000RRs.
Ronald ten Kate - team manager: "Karl has been making good progress here and competing comfortably at the front on race tyres. He was lying in fourth place after this morning's free practice but, unfortunately, we chose the wrong qualifying tyre from the two that Pirelli have brought here. It was a harder compound and Karl went no more quickly than he had been going on race tyres. Because Chris and Karl don't know the circuit and we haven't tested here like most of the other front runners, we knew we'd be playing a bit of catch-up today. But we'll work through everything this evening and I'm confident that the crew can find some things to put the guys back up there tomorrow."
Chris Vermeulen - eighth fastest, 2m04.436s "To be honest, I'm struggling a little with the track here but getting to know it better each time I go out. I like it a lot but it's very bumpy in places and we've been working to get the bike better through those sections. I've also been running a bit wide here and there and looking for some more exit grip from certain corners. It all adds up to losing time in specific areas of the track but I'll sit down with the team later and I'm sure we'll be able to find ways to improve those areas tomorrow."
Karl Muggeridge - fourteenth fastest, 2m04.862s "OK, so fourteenth doesn't look great but I'm actually pretty happy with the steps we've made today. We tried a couple of new chassis components this afternoon and I felt we were making progress. Unfortunately, I ended up pushing the front a little too hard and slid off in the first sector during that session. The qualifier just didn't work at all but I think we're going OK on race tyres and during the day we've improved in certain areas of the track where we were struggling earlier. I'm happy with the rear of the bike so now we just have to concentrate on the front."