VERMEULEN AND MUGGERIDGE SET SIGHTS ON MISANO Winston Ten Kate Honda riders, Chris Vermeulen - who celebrated his 23rd birthday last Sunday - and Karl Muggeridge, head for round six of the World Superbike championship this weekend at Misano in...
VERMEULEN AND MUGGERIDGE SET SIGHTS ON MISANO
Winston Ten Kate Honda riders, Chris Vermeulen - who celebrated his 23rd birthday last Sunday - and Karl Muggeridge, head for round six of the World Superbike championship this weekend at Misano in Italy. The 4.06km Autodromo Santa Monica circuit lies near the Adriatic coast, 35km from San Marino.
With summer heat sure to play a part in this weekend's proceedings, the Australian duo's confidence is high following a successful test at Magny- Cours in France two weeks ago. The team tried a variety of rear swingarm and linkage combinations in an effort to improve driveability on their Honda CBR1000RRs and both riders declared themselves happy with the improvements.
Ronald ten Kate - team manager:
"We found a good direction at our recent test in France and head for Misano with the new components that we need to give both riders the combinations they prefer. Having lost a lot of testing time before the season started, this was our first real chance to address some of the problems we have encountered. Hopefully, our rivals haven't improved as much as we have and this should give us the chance to finish strongly and get the kind of results that the team's efforts deserve."
Chris Vermeulen - championship position 3rd, 141 points:
"I've spent the last few days in Florence with my leathers supplier so I'm getting acclimatised but I think it'll be pretty hot this weekend. We've definitely made some improvements to the bike which I hope will help me fight for at least a couple of podiums this weekend. Last year's Misano race was the fourth round of the season so we were still getting used to the new bike and the weather was a little more unpredictable. I like Misano but I've never had much luck here and never finished on the podium in Supersport, although I did qualify on the front row in 2003. As far as this year's championship goes, I have to be looking at podium finishes and would like another win this weekend. Troy (Corser) is fast in Misano and the Ducatis will be strong here so I'll be looking to get the most of the recent improvements we've made."
Karl Muggeridge - championship position 12th, 50 points:
"The two days at Magny-Cours were really good for me - we got to test properly for the first time and tried a load of new things on the rear of the bike to improve grip and the driveability out of corners. We need as much grip as possible this weekend because when it's hot in Misano, any problems you have seem to get exaggerated, so the test in France came at just the right time of the season for us. I think the new swingarm and linkage combination we've gone for should work well here. I really like the place because I had my first official World Supersport race here for Castrol Honda in 1998 and I won the race last year. But, after the test two weeks ago, I felt that I was really getting somewhere with the bike so I'm looking forward to putting that feeling to good use this weekend."
Misano World Superbike event schedule: Friday 24 June - 10.30-11.30 free practice, 14.15-15.15 qualifying; Saturday 25 June - 11.00-12.00 qualifying, 14.45-15.45 free practice, 16.00 Superpole; Sunday 26 June - 09.20-09.40 warm-up, 12.00 race one (25 laps, 101.5km), 15.30 race two (25 laps, 101.5km).