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WSSImola, ItalySeptember 26, 2004
World Supersport Championship 2004 - Round 9
Imola, Italy

Honda Rider Muggeridge Takes Race Win and The World Title

Karl Muggeridge took win number six of a quite spectacularly successful Supersport year on the Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR, winning his first and his team’s third World Riders’ Championship in the process. Running in the lead throughout, he scored his latest victory after taking his eighth pole position in nine attempts the day before.

K.MUGGERIDGE (Ten Kate Honda)

K.MUGGERIDGE (Ten Kate Honda)

His only rival throughout the entire race was his own team-mate, Broc Parkes, who finally finished his race in second place, 1.251 seconds down at the end of 21-hot and pressurized laps. The lack of team orders was evident from the outset, as Parkes attempted to pass on numerous occasions, twice heading up Muggeridge but never making it stick across the line.

Another dominant day in Supersport for Honda teams saw Sebastien Charpentier take his Klaffi Honda CBR600RR to a fine third, overcoming some small set-up issues in qualifying, which he completed in fourth grid position. Only four points are required by any CBR600RR rider at the final round in Magny Cours next weekend to win the coveted Manufacturers’ crown for Honda.

New team Italia Megabike CBR600RR Honda rider Michel Fabrizio scored seventh on his Supersport debut, the 2003 European Superstock champion and former MotoGP rider fitting in well to the crucible of Supersport racing.

Just outside the top ten Klaffi Honda rider Max Neukirchner survived a first lap scare to take 11th, and five valuable championship points. Denis Sacchetti (Team Italia Megabike Honda CBR600RR) took 13th place, fighting in a group all the way.

It was an emotional day for Muggeridge, but one which was conducted in a cool and calm fashion on the track, despite the high pace and what was at stake. When he heard that his only championship rival Jurgen van den Goorbergh (Yamaha) had crashed out, Muggeridge’s reply was unequivocal, “I opened the gas some more,” he stated. “Broc kept the pressure on the whole time and I needed to stay on my game. I was a little bit concerned about the tyre durability at the pace we were going but in the end the tyre was sliding anyway, but got us home to finish it. My family came over here for this race so it was great that I could win it a weekend early. I’ve wanted to be world champion for a long time and today we achieved that.”

Parkes was under no team orders in the race, but got a signal to not take too many risks after some close overtaking attempts on Muggeridge. Parkes could not quite win the race, despite some attempted passes on Muggeridge. “Today was good, Karl was stronger than me at the end of the race even though felt good at the start. I felt I could win the race today, but it didn’t stick and Karl realized I was so close and kept the pressure up. I couldn’t stay with him. Sometimes when I started to put the pressure on Karl I saw my team manager Ronald leaning about four meters over the pit wall pointing at his head, telling me to stay calm, but it was always OK!”

Charpentier was on strong form one more, pushing as hard as he could but ultimately ten seconds down Muggeridge. “The race was OK for me because it was very difficult for me in practice. I could into get a good set-up this weekend but we did not have the best solution. Many Cours will be much better for me. I will try very hard to win the race in a sporting fashion.”

New boy Fabrizio relished his latest challenge, and took it home after a few late concerns, “Before I got to the race my target was to finish in the top ten, I finished seventh so I’m satisfied, especially as it was my first time here in Supersport. The bike feels good. During the first six laps I was up with the leaders but after we had a problem with the rear suspension, I preferred to take it home in seventh rather than take too much of a risk.”

Neukirchner was fortunate to escape a first corner incident with one of the top riders, “It was a very difficult race after what was a good start off the line. I bumped with Katsuaki Fujiwara in the first couple of corners and that lost me a lot of time. It lost my contact with the leading groups, and that determined where I would finish. I had a good fight with Fujiwara and passed him on the last couple of laps. I was pleased with that, happy to get some points, but not really happy to finish in 11th place.”

Local boy Sacchetti was happy with his show on home tarmac, “I fought hard for the whole race in with a group of strong riders. I’m happy because now I know I can battle with them. I took three points for the championship and for this result I have to thank the team for their hard work.”

World Superbike Championship – Round 10
The first race at Assen proved to be a five-way battle in the early stages, a battle Regis Laconi (Ducati) was to win after a virtual race long display of front running from Chris Vermeulen, on a ten Kate Honda Fireblade. James Toseland (Ducati) headed off Noriyuki Haga (Ducati) for third, with Garry McCoy (Ducati) an eventually lonely fifth.

In the second race Vermeulen fell on the final warm-up lap, was given a lift back to the pits by Giovanni Bussei (Ducati) and started on his spare bike, last by some ten seconds. He hauled himself up the positions, finishing sixth. The race itself was won by Laconi, from Toseland and Ducati Privateer Steve Martin. The championship battle enters the final round with Laconi on 295, Toseland on 291 and Vermeulen on 282. Haga crashed and is fourth overall on 254.

The Superbike and Supersport series move the finale at Magny Cours on October 3.

B.PARKES (Ten Kate Honda)

S.CHARPENTIER (Klaffi Honda)

Supersport Championship 2004, Round 9
Imola, Italy

1 K.MUGGERIDGE (Ten Kate Honda)
2 B.PARKES (Ten Kate Honda)
3 S.CHARPENTIER (Klaffi Honda)
4 L. LANZI (Ducati Breil)
5 F. FORET (Yamaha Italia)
6 A. PITT (Yamaha Italia)
7 M.FABRIZIO (Italia Megabike)
8 S. CHAMBON (Suzuki Alstare Corona Extra)
9 M.BAIOCCO (Lorenzini by Leoni)
10 A. ANTONELLO (Kawasaki Bertocchi)
11 M.NEUKIRCHNER (Klaffi Honda)
12 C. COXHELL (Yamaha Motor Deutschland)
13 D. SACCHETTI (Italia Megabike)
14 K. FUJIWARA (Suzuki Alstare Corona Extra)
15 C. KELLNER (Yamaha Motor Deutschland)

K.MUGGERIDGE (Ten Kate Honda) & B.PARKES (Ten Kate Honda) & S.CHARPENTIER (Klaffi Honda)

Related Links

· SBK - FIM Supersport World Championship
· Italy

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