Vermeulen Takes British Supersport Win

Brent Avis
by Brent Avis
Chris Vermeulen cruised to victory on the new Honda CBR600F4iSport in Sunday's opening 2001 British Supersport encounter at DoningtonPark. His Castrol Honda counterpart Kirk McCarthy finished second.

Matt Llewellyn on a Yamaha was third with John McGuinness on the thirdCastrol Honda finishing fifth as Vermeulen took the opportunity of a wildcard ride to secure more development time...

Starting from pole position, McCarthy settled into second place behind theSuzuki of Karl Harris, who crashed unhurt at Macleans corner on lap threeof the 16-lapper. McCarthy led for the following four laps before Vermeulenmoved into the lead on lap eight.

The two Australians took control of the second half of the race aroundDonington's 2.5-mile GP circuit with Vermeulen taking victory by 4.4seconds at the flag.

"I thought I had a problem at the start when I saw smoke coming up throughthe fairing," said McCarthy. "I checked my boots on the straights and theywere dry so I guess it was something on the exhaust. It's not a bad start,considering we only got the new CBR on Friday, but hopefully Chris won't bedoing any more rounds!"

McGuinness, too, was pleased with his performance his first competitiveride with Castrol Honda since a mid-season crash last year. "I've got to behappy with that," said the 26-year-old Lancastrian. We haven't had too muchtime on the bike and, although there's some work to do, it's good to getsome points in the bag."

Vermeulen returns to World Supersport action in Australia on 22 April butwas grateful for the opportunity to ride in the British series. "We werestruggling a little in the first world round in Spain," said Vermeulen, 18."It's pretty much the same bike but we made some changes to the forks andthey felt good."

Castrol Honda's British Supersport team manager, Roger Harvey, wasdelighted with the results. "I'm happy for the guys because the new CBR isobviously such a good package. It won its first race at World level, andnow in both the American and British domestic series. It bodes well for thenew season."

Results: Donington Park (2.5 miles, 16 laps):1 Chris Vermeulen (Castrol Honda) 26m22.536s2 Kirk McCarthy (Castrol Honda) +4.429s3 Matt Llewellyn (Yamaha) +4.8674 Woolsey Coulter (Suzuki) +12.2595 John McGuinness (Castrol Honda) +19.267,6 Scott Smart (Suzuki) +27.8767 Glen Richards (Honda) +28.3538 Paul Young (Suzuki) +40.5729 Chris Sherring (Yamaha) +43.06010 Simon Andrews (Honda) +43.199
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