Optimistic... superbiker Karl Muggeridge.
Optimistic... superbiker Karl Muggeridge.

Superbiker optimistic despite setbacks

IF there was a race in optimism, Tweed motorcycle racer Karl Muggeridge would be a podium finisher every time.

The World Superbike racer just can't seem to take a trick, posting a DNF (did not finish) and a 21st in the two races in round one of the series at Phillip Island in Victoria on Sunday.

After a horror season in 2008, Muggeridge switched teams late last year to the Celani Racing Team, which was to be supplied with Suzuki factory performance bikes prepared by professional outfit Alstare.

While he wouldn't get in any winter testing, like most of the field, the bikes were to be ready for Mugga to test prior to the Phillip Island round.

However the bikes only arrived in Australia on Thursday, leaving him only Friday's practice round and first qualifier to get used to them.

Despite assurances on their preparation, Muggeridge and his team found the bikes were still missing vital pieces of equipment, which left him behind the eight-ball well before the chequered flag dropped.

“When we got the bikes, we found that not all the racing components were with them and that was very frustrating,” Muggeridge said.

“We were basically riding standard factory engines with race suspension.

“In the first race, the bike suffered mechanical troubles forcing me out of the race and in the second race, we used the third bike which wasn't as fast as the first.

“It's hard to be competitive when you don't have all the components nor the race engine you thought you would have.”

Despite the disappointing start to the season, Muggeridge remains optimistic - one of his great virtues - and is looking forward to the weeks ahead.

“I got an idea of the potential of the bike and our next race, we should be at least running at 95 percent of our race engine capacity,” Muggeridge said.

“We just have to be patient and expect to be up to our full expectations by the third round when everything should be on for the race - engine-wise and race suspension.”

Muggeridge and his team, many of whom he met for the first time on the weekend, hope to have the engine power output improved for round two in Doha, Qatar in two weeks time.

“I suppose I just have to be patient - what more can we do,” Muggeridge laughed.” We can only do what we can with what we have got - I just hope it all comes together as soon as possible.”

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