Muggas back in the race
HAVING impressed at the British Superbike Championships earlier this month, Tweed Heads' Karl Muggeridge has earned a recall to World Superbike action in Nürburgring on September 6.
Filling in for suspended countryman Josh Brookes in the HM Plant Honda BSB team at Brands Hatch, Muggas impressed all in attendance with a fourth, seventh and sixth respectively across the three race meet.
So when Alstare Brux Suzuki rider Max Neukirchner was sidelined through injury, team-manager Francis Batta had no hesitation in giving Muggas a “no-pressure” ride on the factory-backed GSX-R1000 K9.
It will be the first time that Muggas has ridden leading WSBK machinery since leaving Ten Kate Honda at the end of 2006, and the first time in Alstare colours since riding a GSX-R600 in the Supersport class for Batta in 2001.
“I know a lot of people from the Alstare team from my time with them in 2001, and it's nice to know that I have a good crew behind me.” Muggas said.
“I hope I can help their team and ... get them a good result.
“I wish Max a speedy recovery and hope he's back to full fitness soon.”
Muggas had been out of action since the beginning of June, after compounding a vertebrae injury suffered in Assen in April, with another hard fall at Salt Lake City.
Although pleased to be back on a bike, Muggas was disappointed not to find the podium in England, but is quietly confident he can sneak one in Germany.
“I covered a lot of ground in England, considering I am obviously playing catch-up at the moment,” he said.
“I do believe I could have challenged for a podium, but it's early days and with a bit more time on a bike I can hopefully build on my three top ten finishes and get on the podium.”
At 35 years of age, Muggas started his fifth season of WSB with the Celani Suzuki squad, but who he'll finish with is anyone's guess.
In his WSBK career Muggeridge has scored two fourth-place finishes, at Monza and Magny-Cours for his Ten Kate Honda team, having moved up from the WSS after winning the world title in the 600cc class in 2004.