TOUGH MONZA BATTLE FOR MUGGERIDGE
Karl Muggeridge recovered to take sixth place in the fourth round World Superbike championship race at Monza today after a start-line incident left him towards the back of the field on the opening lap. His Winston Ten Kate Honda team-mate, Chris Vermeulen, retired from the race on the second of 18 laps at the 5.8km Monza circuit.
Starting from the front row with eventual race winner, Troy Corser, Muggeridge was clipped by another rider which damaged his clutch lever. The Australian was able to work his way back through the field, however, to take his best result so far in his debut Superbike season.
Ronald ten Kate - team manager:
"After the performances we have shown through practice and qualifying, that was a disappointing race - it was pretty much over for us on the first lap. Karl was quickest in warm-up this morning, with Chris third fastest so yes, we were expecting more. Karl was in 18th place at the end of the first lap but recovered very well after his difficult start. We will have to see what caused the problem with Chris's bike and hope that both riders can display the form they have showed all weekend in the second race this afternoon."
Karl Muggeridge - sixth
"My start was OK and I was pulling off the line all right when I just got hit on the left by another rider. My hand was knocked off the handlebar and the clutch lever was hit. After that, I knew I had to be careful going into the first chicane because I could hear a lot of other riders banging into each other. I got through OK and thought: 'Well, let's just give it a go'. I used up my tyres pretty early getting past the guys in front of me and worked the brakes pretty hard, too. I got some points but I was certainly hoping for more. I'll just have to give it another go in race two."
Chris Vermeulen - DNF
"Yeah, not great. I got away pretty good and thought I could certainly stay with the guys in front of me. But it was only the second lap, so you can never tell. I had a little problem with the throttle cable on the first lap of warm-up this morning but when I got some laps in, the bike felt great and I was ready for the race. It's one of those things I guess and I'll be giving it my best in race two. We've been improving the bike all weekend and I think we deserve a good result."