News 16 Jun 2011

Australian contingent previews World Superbike debut at Aragon

After scoring a top 10 finish last weekend, Aussie Chris Vermeulen will look to gain momentum in Spain on Sunday.

After scoring a top 10 finish last weekend, Aussie Chris Vermeulen will look to gain momentum in Spain on Sunday.

The Australian contingent is looking forward to this weekend’s Aragon round of the Superbike World Championship in Spain, marking uncharted territory for the series on Sunday.

And the fresh surroundings may have just come at the ideal time for Australia’s Troy Corser, who is now in the middle of a rocky road which has seen him finish just one of the last four races, for a best result of 13th.

The last round at Misano was particularly a bitter pill to swallow for the two-time world champion, who came out all guns blazing in practice on his factory BMW only to crash in opening qualifying, which left him with heavy bruising.

The Wollongong ace tried to race, but he just wasn’t in a fit enough state for battle. Corser has fallen to 15th in the championship during the slump, and is looking forward to adding some confidence-boosting points on the board at Aragon.

“The Motorland Aragón circuit reminds me a little bit of Portimão in Portugal, with lots of blind crests and corners, long off-camber corners and up and down sections,” said Corser. “It is a quite technical track to get the bike to work at. I am looking forward to going there.

“Unfortunately my last race day in Misano was short, due to my injuries. But now I have nearly one week to rest and recover. And with that, I am confident that all will be okay in Aragón.”

While Misano was a forgettable one for Corser, it was something of a watershed for his Kawasaki-backed countryman Chris Vermeulen, who completed a full race weekend – albeit with a shortened race two – for the first time this year, scoring points in both races.

The outing certainly stretched the former World Supersport Champion’s endurance, but he’s at least now racking up plenty of miles as he begins the slow process of returning to peak form and fitness.

And Vermeulen tested at Aragon the other week while his contemporaries were racing in America, so he should be ready to push hard from opening practice on Friday morning.

“We did alright at Misano with a couple of point-scoring results,” said Vermeulen. “We did get a bit lucky with a few guys going down, but the team did a really good job.

“I was a bit sore after the races, and it wasn’t easy getting through the whole program. But it’s onwards and upwards from here. If we can improve from this, we’ll be looking good by the end of the year.”

Pedercini Kawasaki’s Mark Aitchison will also look to capitalise on momentum gained at Misano, his form last weekend spoiled by a mechanical and a crash during the pair of WSBK races.

In World Supersport, Australian Broc Parkes (Kawasaki) will head into Aragon galvanised by his first victory of the year at Misano, which saw him move into the championship lead on 85 points, five points ahead of Yamaha’s Chaz Davies.

Parkes defeated Honda pair Fabien Foret and Sam Lowes last Sunday, and both will again be in the thick of it at Aragon, as well as Davies and his Italian teammate Luca Scassa.