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Monday 25th July 2011

INJURED XAUS TO MISS SILVERSTONE

Castrol Honda World Superbike Team rider Ruben Xaus has been forced to withdraw from this weekend’s (29-31 July) ninth round of the championship at Silverstone in the UK due to injury.

Xaus will be replaced by Australian rider Karl Muggeridge, who last rode for the team in 2006. Muggeridge will join Alex Lowes, who is himself standing in for the Castrol Honda team’s other injured rider Jonathan Rea.

Spaniard Xaus sustained leg and back injuries in a first lap crash in race one at Brno in the Czech Republic just over two weeks ago. Although initial scans did not reveal any major injury, continual pain in his back prompted Xaus to seek further medical advice last week, which revealed a fracture to vertebra L3. He expects to be fit for round 10 of the series at Nurburgring in Germany in early September.

Muggeridge won the World Supersport championship in 2004 with the Castrol-supported Ten Kate Honda team and he cont ested the World Superbike championship with the squad in 2005 and 2006.

More recently, the 36-year-old from Tweeds Head on Australia’s Gold Coast has been racing a Honda CBR1000RR in the IDM German Superbike championship. He is currently lying second in the series in which he became champion on his debut last season.

After competing in the Brno round as a replacement for Jonathan Rea and scoring his first World Superbike championship point, Alex Lowes completed a two-day test at Assen last week on the Castrol Honda CBR1000RR.

The 20-year-old from Lincoln in the UK completed 119 laps on the first day and, although day two was affected by rain, Lowes was delighted to have an opportunity to spend more time on the bike in preparation for the Silverstone round this weekend.

Alex Lowes
I had a great time at Brno but it was all a massive learning curve for me and the test at Assen last week was the perfect c hance to spend some more time on the bike. I managed to pick up where I left off in terms of adapting my style and racked up quite a few laps. We changed a few things and got to test some stuff to try to improve the feel of the bike mid-corner. By the end of the second day it was beginning to feel like my bike, so I was really happy, and the last couple of runs were pretty good. Now I can really look forward to Silverstone this weekend – I love the track and it’ll be a home race for me, so I’ll work as hard as I can from Friday morning and try to deliver two solid results for the team.

Karl Muggeridge

I was actually on holiday with the family in Italy when the call came through from Ronald, but I’m really happy to get this opportunity to join the team again. I actually rode for the Castrol Honda British Supersport team way back when, so it’s good to be back with that iconic racing name again, too. The Wor ld Superbike paddock is a place where I feel completely at home, but there’s definitely a big job ahead for the weekend. I don’t want to set any unrealistic targets, and I’m not going to Silverstone to re-invent the wheel. I’ll just aim to work hard and ride strong all weekend and hopefully get a couple of decent finishes in the races.

Ronald ten Kate
Going to Silverstone with two replacement riders was definitely not in our plans but of course we wish Ruben a speedy recovery. We offer Karl a big welcome back to the team after he rode with us way back in 2000 and then from 2003 to 2006, so we have quite a lot of racing history together. He’s been doing a great job in the IDM series where he is the reigning champion, so we’re looking forward to working with him again. Young Alex is starting to gel more and more with the CBR1000RR and two days of testing away from a race weekend was definitely good for all of us. Combining that with a home race for him at Silverstone means we’re going to be working flat out to collect more points.

2011 World Superbike Championship, round nine, Silverstone, UK – schedule (local times):

Friday 29 July
11.30 Free practice (60 min)
15.30 Qualifying practice (60 min)
Saturday 30 July
10.45 Qualifying practice (45 min)
13.45 Free practice (45 min)
15.00 Superpole 1 (14 min)
15.21 Superpole 2 (12 min)
15.40 Superpole 3 (10 min)
Sunday 31 July
09.20 Warm-up (15 min)
12.00 Race 1 (18 laps – 106.236km)
15.30 Race 2 (18 laps – 106.236km)

 

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