PROGRESS IN AUSTRALIA FOR MUGGERIDGE AND VERMEULEN Karl Muggeridge and Chris Vermeulen set the fifth and sixth fastest times in this afternoon's opening qualifying action for round two of the World Superbike championship at Phillip Island.
PROGRESS IN AUSTRALIA FOR MUGGERIDGE AND VERMEULEN
Karl Muggeridge and Chris Vermeulen set the fifth and sixth fastest times in this afternoon's opening qualifying action for round two of the World Superbike championship at Phillip Island. Enjoying the support of family and friends, the two Australian riders continued to improve their lap times on the Winston Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR
Fellow Aussie, Troy Corser, grabbed provisional pole position for Sunday's two 22-lap races around the fast and undulating 4.4km Phillip Island circuit but both team and riders are confident of further progress in tomorrow's practice and qualifying sessions.
Ronald ten Kate - team manager:
"I'm extremely happy with the steps forward we have made here today, even though we are a little further back on lap times than we would want to be. We have a lot of work to do on the bikes tonight but we have found the direction we need to go in to close the gap tomorrow. Every single lap at Phillip Island is important to the riders because it is such a fast and technical circuit. Unlike some other teams, we didn't test here before the season started so Karl and Chris are having to use each lap to become familiar with its characteristics once more."
Karl Muggeridge - fifth fastest, 1m34.364:
"My first lap here on a superbike this morning was really funny! I came down the start-finish straight thinking: 'When is this thing going to stop accelerating?' It was kind of mad and makes the 600 feel like you could make a cup of tea going down the straight. The power lifts the front wheel as you go over the crest and then the wind wants to send it sideways, so it's kind of interesting! The bike's great but we've worked on two different fork settings today and I'm looking for something between the two; so we'll aim for that tomorrow."
Chris Vermeulen - sixth fastest, 1m34.405:
"It's so fast at Phillip Island and I haven't ridden here for a year so you have to spend a while reminding yourself just how quick you can go. You think you're at the edge and then find that there's still more there. We came with a range of suspension settings: from Phillip Island last year, the first race at Qatar and the test at Valencia. We're definitely going in the right direction but I didn't really make the most of the grip from the qualifying tyre today. But I put in some consistent quick laps on a race tyre so I'm pretty happy with that."
<pre> World Superbike, Phillip Island - provisional qualifying times:
1 Troy Corser AUS Suzuki 1:33.191 2 Yukio Kagayama JPN Suzuki 1:33.787 3 Regis Laconi FRA Ducati 1:34.084 4 Andrew Pitt AUS Yamaha 1:34.094 5 Karl Muggeridge AUD Winston Ten Kate Honda 1:34.364 6 Chris Vermeulen AUS Winston Ten Kate Honda 1:34.405 7 Garry McCoy AUS Petronas 1:34.491 8 Steve Martin AUS Petronas 1:34.499 9 Mauro Sanchini ITA Kawasaki 1:34.676 10 Pierfrancesco Chili ITA Honda 1:34.775.