Ten Kate Honda's recently crowned World Supersport champion, Chris Vermeulen posted the second fastest time in Friday's first qualifying session at Magny-Cours in France. The young Australian set a time of 1m 44.143s and concluded the ...
Ten Kate Honda's recently crowned World Supersport champion, Chris Vermeulen posted the second fastest time in Friday's first qualifying session at Magny-Cours in France.
The young Australian set a time of 1m 44.143s and concluded the session only 0.262s behind provisional pole-sitter and local favourite, Sébastien Charpentier.
"The only problem we had was with our choice of tyres as it's much colder than when we tested here," said Vermeulen, who is suffering from a bout of flu.
Team-mate Karl Muggeridge - looking for a hat-trick of wins following his successes at Assen, Holland and Imola, Italy - was fourth quickest with a time of 1m 44.699s.
"I'm sure I can do better tomorrow. I lost my head a bit on the final lap and made several errors. Hopefully, I can get back on track and move up the grid," said the 29-year-old.
Ten Kate Honda's third rider, Broc Parkes clocked a time of 1m 45.114s, which puts him in provisional seventh. The 20-year-old from Sydney was just thrilled to be back racing.
"I've not been on a machine since July at Brands Hatch [GB] and it's just great for me to be back in the saddle. I've no doubt this machine can win on Sunday - I just hope I can do it justice!"
Team manager Ronald ten Kate was satisfied with Friday's effort. "For sure the track temperature made it difficult for our tyre selection but all our riders are on the pace and in the top 10. That bodes well for Sunday."
The Ten Kate team will be looking for its seventh win of the season from 11 rounds at the 4.411km circuit near the town of Nevers, and for Vermeulen a six-point haul will help him break yet another record: the most points in a season mark, currently held by Fabien Foret [186 points in 2002].
Friday's World Supersport championship qualifying times:
1 Sébastien Charpentier, France (Honda) 1m 43.881s, 2 Chris Vermeulen, Australia (Ten Kate Honda) 1m 44.143s, 3 Fabien Foret, France (Kawasaki) 1m 44.630s, 4 Karl Muggeridge, Australia (Ten Kate Honda) 1m 44.699s, 5 Stéphane Chambon, France (Suzuki) 1m 44.926s, 6 Christian Kellner, Germany (Yamaha) 1m 44.979s, 7 Broc Parkes, Australia (Ten Kate Honda) 1m 45.114s, 8 Katsuaki Fujiwara, Japan (Suzuki) 1m 45.223s, 9 Julien Da Costa, France (Kawasaki) 1m 45.335, 10 Pere Riba, Spain (Kawasaki) 1m 45.470s.