WINSTON MEN SEEK BRNO BOOST Winston Ten Kate Honda's Chris Vermeulen and Karl Muggeridge head to the Czech Republic this weekend for round seven of this year's World Superbike championship in search of further points. The Brno event marks the ...
WINSTON MEN SEEK BRNO BOOST
Winston Ten Kate Honda's Chris Vermeulen and Karl Muggeridge head to the Czech Republic this weekend for round seven of this year's World Superbike championship in search of further points. The Brno event marks the return of the series to the Czech venue for the first time since 1996.
With one victory to his name already and two second place finishes last time out at Misano leaving him second in the championship standings, Vermeulen will be looking to make further inroads into the points lead of his fellow Australian, Troy Corser. Muggeridge, meanwhile, will be hoping to build on the qualifying form that put him on the front row in Italy.
Ronald ten Kate - team manager:
"It's our first time at Brno as a team and, although some of our competitors have tested there this season, we'll be looking for a similar performance to last year's at Laguna Seca in America. Chris had never seen the circuit before and took a double victory there, so we know from experience that anything is possible. Of course, testing at a new circuit is always an advantage but I certainly don't think it rules us out of contention. We're hoping to test one or two new chassis components in Brno to help us build on the base setting that saw us perform well in Misano and I know that both Chris and Karl are growing in confidence on the bike with each outing."
Chris Vermeulen - championship position 2nd, 181 points:
"I'm looking forward to the new challenge that Brno brings and excited about going to a new track. I've spoken to a few other guys who have raced there in MotoGP and it seems to be one of their favourites because it's fast and flowing. It's a shame we haven't been able to test there but with only two test tracks allowed, there's always going to be a compromise. It's certainly going to be difficult going out on the first day but we'll hopefully get up to speed quickly enough because the bike's been getting better and better over the last few rounds. I've spoken to the guys back at the workshop and they've got a couple of new things for us to try. I reckon Brno should suit the Fireblade so we're ready to go. I'm pretty relaxed because I managed to grab a few days back home in Australia between a couple of Suzuka 8-hour tests and, since I got back to Europe last week, I've been playing around with my new Ford Coupe, which is fantastic."
Karl Muggeridge - championship position 10th, 65 points:
"I've heard Brno is pretty quick but pretty bumpy, too, so that could throw up one or two problems. I'll make sure I get lots of laps in on a scooter as soon as I arrive to get myself properly familiar with it. We'll be playing a bit of catch up with those who have already tested and one or two ex-GP riders who I'm sure will remember which way it goes. We certainly found a better way forward at Misano and everything was going well through qualifying and Superpole. I just felt so rough on race day that I wasn't able to convert that good set-up into a couple of decent finishes but we're making progress each time we go out so I'm looking forward to the weekend. I'm also looking forward to some more of our own testing at Lausitzring in Germany straight after Brno. The championship hasn't been there for a few years either so hopefully that might give us a bit of an advantage."
Brno World Superbike event schedule: Friday 15 July - 10.30-11.30 free practice, 14.15-15.15 qualifying; Saturday 16 July - 11.00-12.00 qualifying, 14.45-15.45 free practice, 16.00 Superpole; Sunday 17 July - 09.20-09.40 warm-up, 12.00 race one (20 laps, 108.06km), 15.30 race two (20 laps, 108.06km).