WEATHER AND LAP TIMES IMPROVE IN VALENCIA
Day two of the Pirelli SBK test saw a distinct improvement in the weather after rain and low temperatures affected the Ricardo Tormo circuit near Valencia in Spain yesterday. Winston Ten Kate Honda's Karl Muggeridge took to the 4km circuit -- his first time back on the Honda CBR1000RR after his dramatic crash in the final race of the 2005 World Superbike championship at Magny-Cours in France.
After 30 laps yesterday, Muggeridge's new team-mate, James Toseland, spent a more productive day familiarising himself with the Winston Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR in readiness for his debut with the team at the first round of the 2006 series in Qatar next February.
Ronald ten Kate -- team manager:
"I'm happy that we've had a day in which we've been able to complete a lot of laps with both riders. With Karl, we've tested quite a few parts and tyres while James has simply been getting used to his new machine. He's developed a good approach by making longer runs and every time he goes out he's getting to know the CBR1000RR's characteristics better. Of course, he's not fully used to it yet but a positive sign for me is that I see him with a constant smile on his face. We will build on today's progress in our next outing at Qatar in three weeks."
Karl Muggeridge -- best time 1m36.9s
"We haven't really touched the bike at all today; just trying some new braking components and lots of different front tyres, although there doesn't seem to be a lot of difference between them. Physically, I'm not in bad shape after the crash in France. My foot and ribs seem to have healed pretty well but my neck is sore. I twisted my back in the crash and my spine is out of alignment so I'm going back to Australia on Monday and I'll try to get myself straightened out before Qatar. There's a positive mood in the team and it's good to have James on board, so we're all looking forward to some more good testing and the start of next season."
James Toseland -- best time 1m37.5s:
"It's gone really well today. The bike's not doing anything it shouldn't and I'm just gradually getting used to it. There's plenty of time to get some more testing in and plenty more to learn about the bike, which we haven't changed at all really. I'm just getting more familiar with it and more comfortable on it each time I go out. I'll do some more training before we go to Qatar and make a lot more progress there hopefully. The team structure is really sound and we're working well together. But until I get more of a genuine feeling for the bike there's not much useful feedback I can give. The bike feels excellent so far though, and I'm really looking forward to the start of the season."