WINSTON'S SUPERBIKERS SEEK SILVERSTONE SUCCESS
Winston Ten Kate Honda's two World Superbike championship riders, Chris Vermeulen and Karl Muggeridge, head for the famous Silverstone circuit in Great Britain this weekend for round five of the 2005 series. Both riders will be looking to build on their success in the recent fourth round at Monza, Italy when Muggeridge recorded his season's best results of sixth and fourth places, while Vermeulen took his first victory of the campaign in race two.
Despite racing on Silverstone's historic Grand Prix circuit in Northamptonshire since 2002, this weekend's event marks the first time that the World Superbike championship will use the shorter, 3.561km International circuit.
Ronald ten Kate - team manager:
"We have had quite some success at Silverstone over the past few years and took our first Superbike victory there last year. It would have been nice to go back to the same circuit to try and repeat that success but we'll be using the shorter one this year. Still, it's the same for everyone and we'll be trying as hard as ever to score more victories. I believe we showed with Chris's and Karl's results at Monza that we have closed the gap with the championship leaders. We have now fully adopted the exhaust that Arrow developed especially for Monza and we'll just carry on working on the general balance and geometry of the CBR1000RR."
Chris Vermeulen - championship position 3rd, 115 points:
"The second race win at Monza was long overdue but it felt pretty good all the same. It would have been a better points haul if I hadn't had the DNF in race one but that's how it goes sometimes. We found the right direction at Monza and we'll definitely be looking to carry that progress through to Silverstone. We basically lifted the bike at the front and the rear and changed the offset to keep it steering good and it seemed to work pretty well. Silverstone is a place that holds good memories for me, having won the Supersport race there in 2003 and then taking my very first Superbike victory last year. I remember the shorter circuit from my days in the British championship but it'll take a few laps to familiarise myself with it again."
Karl Muggeridge - championship position 12th, 38 points:
"It finally started coming together at Monza, although my raceday luck looked like continuing when I was hit at the start of the first race and lost the clutch lever. It was tough coming back from about 20th on the first lap to take sixth but the bike was that much better right through the weekend and that allowed us to qualify on the front row for the first time. I enjoyed race two at Monza and felt I might have got on the podium but for a mistake on the last lap. We'll be getting some things underway again when we hit Silverstone and try to carry on that Monza form. The two tracks used to be pretty similar but now they've cut all that cool stuff from the back Silverstone - the Hanger straight and Stowe corner - which is a shame, I think. We'll have more to say on Friday when we've been round the International circuit."