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May 11, 2002

Chris Vermeulen Takes World Supersport Pole At Monza

Copyright 2002, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>Vermeulen takes pole and a place in the history books<BR><BR>By Glenn LeSanto<BR><BR>Van Zon Honda TKR rider Chris Vermeulen snatched pole away from Fabien Foret late in today's qualifying session and wrote his name into the<BR>history books. At only 19 years of age Vermeulen is the youngest rider ever to qualify on pole in a World Supersport race.<BR><BR>"It's not only my first ever pole in World Supersport it's also my first ever front row! I didn't even know I was on pole," said Vermeulen. "We had problems with the lap timer all session so I didn't know how fast I was going. It wasn't a hard lap. I got a tow of Werner Daemen down the straight and then went for it. I knew it was my quickest lap but I didn't realize I had gone pole. The first corner here is important, either being at the front or being at the back is the best place for that first lap, first corner. My game plan is to get a good launch off the grid and just go for it. Hopefully then I can avoid the action, but we'll see what happens. This place makes for unreal racing, there will probably be eight or ten guys at the front drafting for the lead. Nobody can know who'll win until the end of the race."<BR><BR>"I'm very proud to be a friend of Chris," said Eddie Roberts from Pirelli, "He's the youngest rider ever to make pole in Supersport. He<BR>gives great feedback to us, his riding is good, his information is good and the guy has good manners. He's a nice guy and he deserves it, I<BR>think his future is very bright."<BR><BR>Fabien Foret was also pleased for Vermeulen, "It's good for Chris," said Foret, "I am very happy for him. But I am very tired after my crash yesterday. I tried to do my best but I didn't push so much because I wasn't feeling so good, I need to sleep! But it was easy to go fast because the Honda is so good and the Pirelli tyres are excellent as always. I like to be on pole, especially here. But I am on the front row, so I am confident for tomorrow. I am hoping for good weather, it is better for everybody if it is dry. But we will see."<BR><BR>Suzuki pairing Stephane Chambon and Katsuaki Fujiwara will join the two Hondas on the grid for the race after spending most of the session<BR>towing each other around the circuit. Fujiwara eventually bettered his teammate's time to go third.<BR><BR>Final World Supersport Qualifying Times From Monza:<BR><BR>1. Chris Vermulen, Honda CBR600F, 1:53.127<BR>2. Fabien Foret, Honda CBR600F, 1:53.457<BR>3. Katsuaki Fujiwara, Suzuki GSX-R600, 1:53.622<BR>4. Stephane Chambon, Suzuki GSX-R600, 1:53.661<BR>5. Alessio Corradi, Yamaha YZF-R6, 1:53.756<BR>6. Paolo Casoli, Yamaha YZF-R6, 1:53.845<BR>7. Piergiorgio Bontempi, Ducati 748R, 1:54.055<BR>8. Karl Muggeridge, Honda CBR600F, 1:54.222<BR>9. James Whitham, Yamaha YZF-R6, 1:54.260<BR>10. Christophe Cogan, Honda CBR600F, 1:54.325<BR>11. Andrew Pitt, Kawasaki ZX-6R, 1:54.424<BR>12. Kevin Curtain, Yamaha YZF-R6, 1:54.461<BR>13. James Ellison, Kawasaki ZX-6R, 1:54.602<BR>14. Christian Kellner, Yamaha YZF-R6, 1:54.775<BR>15. Iain MacPherson, Honda CBR600F, 1:54.806<BR>16. Jorg Teuchert, Yamaha YZF-R6, 1:55.117<BR>17. Werner Daemen, Honda CBR600F, 1:55.188<BR>18. Stefano Cruciani, Yamaha YZF-R6, 1:55.412<BR>19. Sebastien Charpentier, Honda CBR600F, 1:55.585<BR>20. Gianluca Nannelli, Ducati 748R, 1:55.866<BR><BR>More from a Ten Kate Honda press release:<BR><BR>Vermeulen takes pole in front of Foret<BR><BR>Van Zon Honda TKR rider Chris Vermeulen snatched pole away from Fabien Foret late in today's qualifying session.<BR><BR>The Van Zon Honda TKR is a Ten Kate Honda satellite team, with the bikes prepared by Ten Kate Racing. So no surprise then that Team Manager<BR>Ronald ten Kate was happy to have given pole away to Vermeulen, "If we have to give up the pole to anyone I am definitely happy that we give it<BR>to Chris Vermeulen," he said. "I am happy for him, to see Vermeulen's performance going up. I am happy for Fabien, being in second spot, a<BR>front row start is important here. But we've seen a lot of crazy races around here and if it is dry we will see the same again. With Iain I am<BR>a little puzzled as to why he is still struggling, although he didn't get a really good draft down the straight and when on his fast lap he ran in to some traffic. It's going to be one of those famous races with first corner mayhem ? maybe Chris and Fabien are in the right place! I<BR>hope we can use the speed of the bikes in the race, and maybe Chris and Foret can make a little escape in the front."<BR><BR>"It's good for Chris Vermeulen," said Fabien Foret, "I am very happy for him. But I am very tired after my crash yesterday. I tried to do my best but I didn't push so much because I wasn't feeling so good, I need to sleep! But it was easy to go fast because the Honda CBR600FS is so good<BR>and the Pirelli tyres are excellent as always. I like to be on pole, especially here but I am on the front row, so I am confident for tomorrow. I am hoping for good weather, it is better for everybody if it is dry. But we will see."<BR><BR>MacPherson will have his work cut out in the race, "It didn't quite come together for me," said Ian, "maybe I'm trying to hard. I'm losing a bit of time on the brakes and having trouble getting it set up for the chicanes. But I was on the third row last year and yet I finished 0.8<BR>seconds off the winner so anything's possible."<BR>