Imola: Ten Kate Honda Saturday report

WINSTON'S VERMEULEN SCORCHES TO IMOLA POLE Chris Vermeulen will start tomorrow's two eleventh round World Superbike championship races at Imola, Italy from pole position after setting the fastest qualifying time in today's one-lap Superpole...

WINSTON'S VERMEULEN SCORCHES TO IMOLA POLE

Chris Vermeulen will start tomorrow's two eleventh round World Superbike championship races at Imola, Italy from pole position after setting the fastest qualifying time in today's one-lap Superpole shoot-out. The Australian lapped the 4.9km Enzo e Dino Ferrari circuit in a time of 1m48.075s, beating the 2002 best lap time of Colin Edwards by three tenths of second.

Vermeulen's Winston Ten Kate Honda team-mate Karl Muggeridge will start from tenth place on the grid for tomorrow's two 21-lap races after improving from his regulation qualifying position of fourteenth.

Ronald ten Kate -- team manager:

"I have to say that was a phenomenal lap from Chris today -- not only pole position but a new best lap time as well. His time didn't come as a complete surprise to us because he has shown today that he is already quick on race tyres and qualified for Superpole third fastest on race rubber. I think he's perfectly prepared for tomorrow's races but there seem to be a few other fast riders out there, too. Hopefully, they can get between him and Troy (Corser) to keep the championship alive to next weekend's final round. Karl looked to be on a pretty good Superpole lap as well, but we think his brake pads were dislodged a bit when he went over a rumble strip and that meant he had to pump the brakes a couple of times to make the next corner. He's in good shape for a couple of results tomorrow -- especially with the speed of the Honda CBR1000RR here."

Chris Vermeulen -- pole position, 1m48.075s

"The lap was OK but, because I hadn't used any qualifying tyres before, I was able to put one in during free practice and managed to do a pretty quick lap then. I was aiming for a 1m47s lap to be honest but just missed out on that. I'm happy with my second pole position, though, and the bike is pretty well set-up. It's working really well on the race tyres but I've got to finish such a long way ahead of Troy that I'm just concentrating on trying to win both races. If I can do that, we'll see what's happening behind me."

Karl Muggeridge -- tenth fastest, 1m49.845s

"I made a mistake in the first split on my Superpole lap when I went on the dirt. I just didn't see it properly as it was in the shade, but that cost me some time. It almost put me through the screen as well, the rear was spinning up that much in the dust. Then I overshot a corner towards the end when I had to pump the brakes. But we've improved the bike a lot today and made progress from this morning. I'm happy with the race set-up and tyres, although we've got a few little things to do in the morning."

-wtkh-

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Series WORLD SUPERBIKE
Drivers Colin Edwards , Chris Vermeulen , Karl Muggeridge