Valencia: Ten Kate Honda race one report

VERMEULEN SECOND IN VALENCIA RACE ONE Chris Vermeulen finished second behind fellow-Australian Troy Corser in today's opening third round World Superbike championship race at Valencia in Spain. Vermeulen's Winston Ten Kate Honda team-mate, Karl...

VERMEULEN SECOND IN VALENCIA RACE ONE

Chris Vermeulen finished second behind fellow-Australian Troy Corser in today's opening third round World Superbike championship race at Valencia in Spain. Vermeulen's Winston Ten Kate Honda team-mate, Karl Muggeridge, suffered further misfortune, however, and did not finish the race.

Starting from second place on the grid for the 23-lap affair, Vermeulen quickly slotted into second place and battled for much of the second half of the race with Norick Abe, who crashed out with two laps remaining. Muggeridge had to take avoiding action on lap one when fellow-Honda rider, Max Neukirchner, crashed in front of him, forcing the Australian onto the gravel. Pushing hard to salvage some points, Muggeridge eventually crashed out of 20th place on lap 20.

Ronald ten Kate - team manager:

"I'm very happy with Chris's result, given the problems that we have had all weekend up to now. We'll definitely make some adjustments to his CBR1000RR for race two and probably use a different front tyre. I feel so sorry for Karl who has had some pretty bad luck at the beginning of the season. Neukirchner crashed right in front of him and in his efforts to salvage something from the race, Karl slipped off close to the end of the race. We'll see what race two brings but I hope his luck changes now."

Chris Vermeulen -

"That was really hard work. The conditions were very slippery compared to last year's race which was held earlier in the year. I think the higher temperatures here mean that the tyres are having to work much harder, so grip is a problem for everyone. I knew Abe was behind me because I could hear his bike and my pit board was reading plus zero all the way through. Suddenly it went to plus six, which is unfortunate for him; but my last lap was about three seconds slower as I just wanted to bring the bike home."

Karl Muggeridge -

"I couldn't believe it when Neukirchner's bike went up in the air in front of me. I've got a big black mark from one of his tyres down the back of my shoulder and had to duck to get out of its way. I guess I was lucky not to go off then but managed to get all the way through the gravel and then slid off right at the end. When I eventually got going again my lap times would have had me battling for fourth I think, and warm-up this morning told me I had a pretty could race set-up. I need some luck and hope I can find it in race two this afternoon."

-wtkh-

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About this article
Series World Superbike
Drivers Norifumi Abe , Troy Corser , Chris Vermeulen , Karl Muggeridge , Max Neukirchner