Phillip Island: Ten Kate Honda Saturday qualifying notes

Vermeulen on Supersport Pole at home in Australia. Chris Vermeulen took his second consecutive pole position at Phillip Island with a brilliant performance in front of his home spectators. "We had a target lap time of 1m 35.3 for qualifying...

Vermeulen on Supersport Pole at home in Australia.

Chris Vermeulen took his second consecutive pole position at Phillip Island with a brilliant performance in front of his home spectators.

"We had a target lap time of 1m 35.3 for qualifying and, too my surprise, I managed to beat it!" said an elated Vermeulen after qualifying. "The new Honda CBR600RR felt good, the Pirelli tyres were working really well and WP Suspension put in heaps of effort getting the set up right for the new bike. Now the bike feels so good I know I can lap at 1m 36 all day on race tyres and I'm hoping that'll be the race pace."

There's a lot of pressure on Vermeulen here in Australia and yet he seems to be coping very well with it all, a point that hasn't gone unnoticed by Honda Ten Kate team manager Ronald ten Kate.

"Chris is fast but he's still very young, and yet he's ridden with real maturity despite the pressure of riding on home ground," said ten Kate. "We always knew he had the speed in him and now it's coming out -- he even beat the target lap time we set him!"

It's been a difficult weekend so far for Karl Muggeridge, he separated his ankle joint in Friday's crash. He had another small crash today when he lost the front end but fortunately he slid off the track without aggravating his injury.

"Karl almost made it onto the front row but, considering Friday's crash, fifth is a great result and we're confident he'll do well in the race," commented Ronald ten Kate.

"It got a little hairy out there," said Muggeridge. "but I've got a good race set up so I'm confident for Sunday. But I really didn't need to throw myself down the road again!"

The entire team are now looking forward to what will be a cracking World Supersport race at the Phillip Island circuit.

<pre> World Supersport Championship Round 2, Phillip Island 28-29-30 March 2003 Final qualifying

1  Chris Vermeulen              Australia       Ten Kate Honda  1m 35.291s
2  Stephane Chambon             France          Suzuki          1m 35.828s
3  Katsuaki Fujiwara            Japan           Suzuki          1m 35.841s
4  Fabien Foret                 France          Kawasaki        1m 35.965s
5  Karl Muggeridge              Australia       Ten Kate Honda  1m 36.008s
6  Jurgen van den Goorbergh     Holland         Yamaha          1m 36.060s
7  Broc Parkes                  Australia       Honda           1m 36.226s
8  Robert Ulm                   Austria         Honda           1m 36.326s
9  Kevin Curtain                Australia       Yamaha          1m 36.464s
10 Pere Riba                    Spain           Kawasaki        1m 36.479s

-tkh-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series World Superbike
Drivers Stephane Chambon , Jurgen van den Goorbergh , Broc Parkes , Katsuaki Fujiwara , Fabien Foret , Pere Riba , Chris Vermeulen , Robert Ulm , Karl Muggeridge , Kevin Curtain , Phillip Island