WINSTON'S VERMEULEN FINDS RECORD FLYER IN FRANCE Chris Vermeulen will start tomorrow's two final World Superbike championship races of 2005 at Magny-Cours, France from pole position after setting the fastest qualifying time in today's...
WINSTON'S VERMEULEN FINDS RECORD FLYER IN FRANCE
Chris Vermeulen will start tomorrow's two final World Superbike championship races of 2005 at Magny-Cours, France from pole position after setting the fastest qualifying time in today's one-lap Superpole shoot-out. The Australian took his third pole of the season by lapping the 4.4km French track in a time of 1m39.836s, beating the 2003 best lap time of Neil Hodgson by almost second.
Vermeulen's Winston Ten Kate Honda team-mate Karl Muggeridge will also start from front of the grid for tomorrow's two 23-lap races after setting the fourth fastest time in Superpole this afternoon.
Ronald ten Kate -- team manager:
"Having both riders on the front row for the final two races of the season is a great tribute to the incredibly hard work that the whole team has put in during the year to constantly improve the CBR1000RR. Having said that, I must pay tribute to Chris for a magnificent lap and for breaking the old record by such a margin. It really was an exceptional performance. And for Karl to achieve what he did after a free practice crash wrecked his number one bike is impressive, too. We'll work hard tonight to have the bike fixed for tomorrow morning. It's maybe a shame that the fat lady sung in the rain of Imola last weekend but there's no doubt tomorrow's races will be tough."
Chris Vermeulen -- pole position, 1m39.836s
"I didn't expect that time, to be honest, but you can bet I'll take it! The bike's just been getting better and better over the last few races and the team has to take a lot of credit for working so hard to get it how it is now. Troy (Corser) obviously had a bit of a problem in Superpole this afternoon but everyone gets a bit of bad luck sometime. I think we had our fair share in the early part of the season so it's nice to finish it with a flourish. Everyone is pretty close on race tyres, though, so tomorrow's races are not going to be easy. With Troy back in sixteenth place, I hope I can get away at the front but there'll be some other guys with something to say about that."
Karl Muggeridge -- fourth fastest, 1m40.536s
"There's a bit of repaired tarmac half way round the first right hander here and I've been riding on the inside of it all weekend. With the qualifier in for Superpole I tried to run a little wider but hit it and that put me on the wrong trajectory. The rest of the lap wasn't too bad and, considering I broke the best bike in the free practice crash, I'm happy to be on the front row. I don't know what happened in the crash -- the only thing different is that I was doing about 3kph more into the corner that normal. The race set-up is pretty good for tomorrow but they're going to be tight races and it'll be hard to pass, so a front row start is important."