Vermeulen almost takes first Superpole win Chris Vermeulen (Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR) rode with all the flair and self-assurance he has shown since making the move up to World Superbike, but just missed out on securing his first Superpole win ...
Vermeulen almost takes first Superpole win
Chris Vermeulen (Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR) rode with all the flair and self-assurance he has shown since making the move up to World Superbike, but just missed out on securing his first Superpole win after a couple of minor moments.
Starting the single lap of Superpole second last, after qualifying second fastest in regulation qualifying, Vermeulen gave it his all, but when his rear end lost traction exiting the dead-stop final chicane, he lost time to eventual Superpole man Regis Laconi (Ducati). Fastest man in qualifying, Pierfrancesco Chili (Ducati) did not set a lap after his bike expired. Noriyuki Haga (Ducati) and James Toseland (Ducati) will share the front row with Vermeulen and Laconi.
The 2003 World Supersport champion stated, "It's not easy taking a new bike and trying to make it work at each new track we go to but Ten Kate have done a very good job with the bike and it's gone very well around here - like at Monza. The last chicane, introduced last year, is a little bit of a pain. After running so fast for so long you come into that corner and almost have to stop and turn back on yourself. But everybody has to ride the same track. I'm enjoying it here, and I hope the weather will be good for the race. I would like to say I will win two races tomorrow but I don't think things will be that easy!"
Team Manager Ronald Ten Kate said, "We were almost there. Chris made a little mistake in the stadium section, then a bigger one coming out of the last chicane. We are pretty close and also pretty happy with the set-up. Superpole is just one flying lap, not a real race; that is for tomorrow. I think tracks like Silverstone suit the bike, the way it is now at least, but for next year we want to have it ready and capable of winning at every track on the calendar."
World Superbike Championship
Round Six - Silverstone, Great Britain
11 - 13 June 2004
1. R. Laconi, FRA, Ducati 999 F04, 1'54.331
2. C. Vermeulen, AUS, Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR, 1'54.643
3. N. Haga, JPN, Ducati 999 RS, 1'54.812
4. J. Toseland, GBR, Ducati 999 F04, 1'54.976
5. L. Haslam, GBR, Ducati 999 RS, 1'55.038
6. T. Corser, AUS, Petronas FP1, 1'55.113
7. J. Ellison, GBR, Yamaha YZF R1, 1 '55.276
8. S. Martin, AUS, Ducati 999 RS, 1'55.438
9. M. Borciani, ITA, Ducati 999 RS, 1'55.802
10. L. Pedercini, ITA, Ducati 998 RS, 1'56.072
Muggeridge attains five pole positions
Despite a crash early in the final qualifying session Karl Muggeridge (Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR) scooped up his fifth pole position of the year, an awesome achievement for rider, bike and team. His best time of 1:56.715 was set on Friday as Muggeridge was unable to quite reach the first day high, but behind several riders improved their times, demoting his team mate Broc Parkes to the second row of the grid.
The Silverstone front row consists of Muggeridge, Fabien Foret (Yamaha), best-placed wild card Pere Riba (Kawasaki) and Kevin Curtain (Yamaha). Parkes qualified fifth, unable to improve his personal best from Friday.
Muggeridge, who survived his high-speed fall intact, stated, "I crashed because of a silly little mistake while downshifting. I hooked my foot under the lever but it changed gear too early and I arrived into the corner too fast. The front couldn't take it and I fell. If we can get a good setting on the rebuilt bike and it all goes smoothly in warm-up then it will be down to me. The number two bike is not quite as nice feel as the number one bike, but we did improve it a lot."
Parkes acknowledged that things did not go his way on this particular day. "I wanted to be on the front row so I am a bit upset. I put in all I could and it didn't improve my time. We changed some setup and it went back to where we were earlier. I just want to have a good qualifying session; it's always second row. It's worse when Karl always sets pole too. I know I'm a racer, so it will be all right."
Team Manager Ronald Ten Kate was delighted with the fifth pole in six races, and acknowledged the work put in by his entire team. "It was a hectic session for us again, especially with Karl going down after a missed gearshift, on only the second lap. It was his number one bike and we tried to dial in his number two bike to make it the same. We were partly successful. Broc was pushed back to the second row, but we know he is a much more of a racer than a qualifier."
World Supersport Championship
Round Six - Silverstone, Great Britain
11 - 13 June 2004, Final Qualifying
1. K. Muggeridge, AUS, Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR, 1'56.715
2. F. Foret, FRA, Yamaha YZF R6, 1'56.721
3. P. Riba, ESP, Kawasaki ZX6 RR, 1'56.902
4. K. Curtain, AUS, Yamaha YZF R6, 1'56.943
5. B. Parkes, AUS, Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR, 1'57.033
6. J. Vd Goorbergh, NED, Yamaha YZF R6, 1'57.148
7. S. Charpentier, FRA, Honda CBR600RR, 1'57.339
8. L. Lanzi, ITA, Ducati 749 R, 1'57.595
9. A. Corradi, ITA, Honda CBR600RR, 1'58.003
10. L. Quigley, GBR, Suzuki GSX 600R, 1'58.161