VERMEULEN LOOKS TO CARRY ASSEN FORM TO GERMANY
The World Superbike championship returns to the 4.3km Eurospeedway Lausitz, Germany this weekend for the first time since 2002, with Winston Ten Kate Honda rider Chris Vermeulen seeking to repeat his spectacular double win at Assen last Sunday. Vermeulen remains 86 points behind series leader, Troy Corser, but reduced the gap by 24 points in Assen and is hoping for more of the same in Germany on Sunday.
Vermeulen's team-mate and fellow Australian, Karl Muggeridge, is seeking his first World Superbike podium since moving to the class after winning last season's World Supersport championship. After a successful test with the Winston team at Lausitzring seven weeks ago, Muggeridge is hoping for a head start over his rivals when qualifying gets underway on Friday.
Ronald ten Kate - team manager:
"Of course, we'd like to carry on with similar results to those in Assen but our approach this weekend will be the same as every other race this season. At least we can start with a good base setting at Lausitzring as we had a pretty good test here in July, after the Brno round. It gives us a bit of an advantage, I guess, but it's not something we can rely on too heavily. We need to keep improving the bike every time we go out to see if we can take as many points as possible away from Troy (Corser) on Sunday."
Chris Vermeulen - championship position 2nd, 284 points:
"We had a two-day test at Lausitzring in July and, although it rained on the second day, it was still useful. The bike was working pretty well but there are a lot of areas where we can try to make the bike better so we've got a few things to try this weekend. One thing about Lausitzring is that, if it rains, it's like an ice rink; but I've heard the forecast for the weekend is supposed to be OK. It's a shame that Walker and Laconi aren't going to be here this weekend - especially Laconi, who might have taken some points from Troy (Corser). Assen last Sunday was great for me and the team but, to be honest, I've forgotten it already. I said before Assen that I saw no reason why we couldn't go for eight wins from the remaining eight races. It went to plan last weekend but now there's only three rounds left and I've still got more races to win, so that's what we'll be concentrating on this weekend."
Karl Muggeridge - championship position 10th, 100 points:
"It's really time to take the good from the bad here and put my words into action. The bike's not bad but I have to start riding it like a superbike. Assen was disappointing and a perfect example of riding it like a supersport bike, which is all about corner speed. I finally found how to ride it at Assen but, the way we had it set up, it was too late. I need to maybe square off the corners a little more and spend less time with the bike on its side, because that's what causes the grip to drop off so dramatically during the race. You need to manipulate the superbike much more and press all the right buttons, so that's what I'll be trying to do here at Lausitzring this weekend. We had a pretty good test here after Brno so at least we have somewhere to start from."