Muggeridge Takes Win Seven With Parkes Second
Karl Muggeridge (Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR) ended a virtually perfect championship-winning season with a stalk and pounce race victory, following his team-mate Broc Parkes until the last lap, then taking the win in fine style, by 0.422 seconds. It was his seventh race win of the year, and his fourth in a row. It propelled him over the 200 point barrier, an outstanding achievement for man, machine and team.
Parkes' second place could have been his first win for the Ten Kate Team, but after Muggeridge slipped past, for the final time, the result was set. Honda rider Sebastien Charpentier was third in the race, meaning that Parkes took second place overall, completing a magnificent Ten Kate 1-2.
Muggeridge stated, "I was going pretty well and then I started to lose some grip in the rear and my times got worse. Then Broc came through and started edging away so I had to try really hard to keep with him. Then finally he slowed a little bit and I could lift my pace. I worked my way up and passed him and then tried to keep him behind for the whole lap. It was good to win another one before the year ended."
Parkes was frustrated to have led more laps than Muggeridge and still not win. "It was tough," explained Parkes. "I got a good start and as quickly as I could I got onto the back of Karl. I thought about the last race so I reckoned I should go as fast as I could to drop them off the lead. I got past Karl, then he took me at the end and I saw Charpentier really close behind me. I really wanted to go out and race for the win today but I thought in the final lap it was better to take second in the race and earn second in the championship."
Team Manager Ronald Ten Kate stated. "Four wins in a row is a new achievement in this class, seven wins in one season for one rider is another record and having one rider make a front row start in every race is yet another. A perfect ending of the perfect season for us. We really couldn't wish for anything more. Today would have been good for Broc to win his first race for us, as he is moving on to another team next year. I hope it goes well for him. Tomorrow morning we will be introducing our new riders to their Ten Kate Supersport machines, and they will be Sebastien Charpentier and Katsuaki Fujiwara."
Vermeulen Finishes Fourth In His Rookie SBK Championship
Chris Vermeulen (Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR) saw his world championship challenge blunted by a double DNF at Magny Cours, due to two electrical problems. Having qualified well and having been in contention for podium finishes before the gremlins struck, Vermeulen and his entire team were robbed of the chance of a good season ending flourish.
In race one he retired with only 11 laps completed, in race two he went out on lap 19, having dropped off from a possible podium finish. James Toseland (Ducati) won the opener, and in finishing second in race two, behind Noriyuki Haga (Ducati) he won the championship. Regis Laconi finished second, and Haga leapfrogged Vermeulen to score third place overall.
A disappointed Vermeulen stated. "In the first race it was just a freak electrical problem. We haven't had that problem all year. The second race the bike finished the race the same way as it did at Imola, so I didn't have any choice but to retire. The last three races have given us some problems so we have some serious work to do. I had an injection for my injured hand before the race and I felt no pain from it at all. I felt comfortable and the bike was good until it started missing a bit of power. It would cut in and out, but before that I felt every bit as quick as any of them. I wanted to go out with a podium, if not a win, so it's really disappointing."
Team Manager Ronald Ten Kate stated. "It looks like the crank senor on the bike was the fault, and that is what the data tells us after the first investigation. That is pretty sad for us to have a bike which has run virtually the whole championship without any problems and then have two DNFs because of technical things is a disappointment. The machinery has been working well so we cannot put any blame on the bike. If someone had said that we would be fourth this year before we started the races I would have been happy enough. But we have been in a position where the results have been really good so all in all I'm happy, but it was not a happy ending. I want to thank all the staff of the team for the hard work. Everyone could see how hard we had to work to get to where we are. We are looking forward to next year because the development year is now over. Next year we will be stronger than this year."