Karl Muggeridge - 2006 Rider Profile
2006 Rider Profiles
Date of birth: 20th April 1974
Place of birth: Tweeds Head, Australia
Home town: Zürich, Switzerland
Status: Engaged to Isabelle Müller, son Ryan
Hobbies: Training, swimming, surfing, snowboarding, tennis, golf
First race: 1994 Lakeside - Australian 250cc Production champ.
First win: 1994 Lakeside - Australian 250cc Production champ.
Favourite track: Monza, Italy
Race number 31
1984-93 Regional and national motocross/supercross in Australia
1994 Australian 250cc Production championship - Suzuki: Final position 12th
1995 Australian 250cc Production championship - Suzuki: Final position 4th
1996 Australian Supersport championship
1997 Australian Supersport championship
1998 British Supersport championship - Seeley Honda
World Supersport race, Misano - Castrol Honda: Race position 11th
1999 British Supersport championship - Castrol Honda: Final position 4th
2000 World Supersport championship - Ten Kate Honda
Final position 5th - fi rst WSS win, Brands Hatch
2001 World Supersport championship - Alstare Suzuki: Final position 7th
2003 World Supersport championship - Ten Kate Honda: Final position 4th - 3 wins
2004 World Supersport champion - Ten Kate Honda: Final position 1st - 7 wins, 8 pole positions
2005 World Superbike championship - Winston Ten Kate Honda: Final position 11th
Accuracy and timing have been long-term features of Karl Muggeridge's career, starting with 250cc production racing in his native Australia in 1994 and culminating in his first world title ten years later. Success in the ultra-competitive World Supersport championship had at times seemed elusive to the 30-year-old from Tweeds Head in New South Wales but, during the bad times, Muggeridge always had a career to fall back on. At the age of 20, he completed a four-year-apprenticeship as a watchmaker. Schoolboy motocross and grasstrack gave Muggeridge a taste for competition and he won around 200 trophies in state and national racing between the ages of 11 and 15. But as he progressed to supercross, the daily rigours of work began to interfere and he turned instead to road racing. "I didn't want to do it but I just had to race!" he says. "Road racing was less time consuming but it felt really odd at first keeping your feet on the pegs with the bike cranked over." After racing a 250cc Suzuki, Muggeridge moved into the Australian Supersport championship but the lure of the world stage took him to the UK in 1998 where he teamed up with ex-racer and bike builder, Colin Seeley. After a deal with a Honda-supported supersport team fell through, the pair was forced to run with a privateer entry, with Muggeridge converting Seeley's garage into a race workshop and carrying out mechanic's as well as rider's duties. "The results weren't great," he recalls, "but, with Seeley's help, I did get asked to ride for the Castrol Honda team in the Misano World Supersport round. I qualified 32nd, just scraping on to the grid, but managed to finished 11th. "It was also about that time I first met Gerrit ten Kate," he continues. "He's always reminding me that he first saw me spannering on the bike with my leathers round my waist!"
For the 1999 season, Muggeridge rode for the Castrol Honda British Supersport team but ten Kate had seen enough to offer him a couple of world championship rides at the end of the season after his own rider, David de Gea, had gone to join Kenny Roberts' grand prix team. After leading the race, a fourth place at the Assen round set Muggeridge up with a permanent Ten Kate ride the following season but budgets were tight and results hard to come by. "I remember Gerrit having to sell bikes from his showroom floor to finance the next round," says Muggeridge, "and because things were so tight, there was almost more pressure to push myself and the bike that bit harder."
The pressure paid off at the Brands Hatch round, however, after a typical fighting performance was rewarded with Muggeridge's and the Ten Kate team's first World Supersport victory. Continued uncertainty over team funding in 2001, however, led Muggeridge to accept a ride with the Alstare Suzuki team, where his follow-up victory proved elusive. It was the same story with the Honda UK-funded effort in 2002. When he returned to the Ten Kate fold for the 2003 season he saw a different team. "The guys had forged a really strong partnership with Honda Europe that had allowed them to evolve and grow. Suddenly there were data acquisition engineers - it was a revelation!" But a dose of glandular fever left Muggeridge feeling tired and listless for the first part of the season leading to problems setting up the bike and getting the results his talent so clearly demanded. It wasn't until the second half of the year that his recent domination of the World Supersport championship began.
Muggeridge entered the 2004 season on the back of three straight wins at the end of 2003. They were followed by eight pole positions and seven wins in a stunning season of precision and pace. He has won 10 of the last 15 World Supersport races - a record that is unlikely to be matched in the near future. For 2005, Muggeridge continues with the team that has become a second family to him, stepping up to the World Superbike championship on the slick-shod Winston Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR and teaming up once again with fellow Australian Chris Vermeulen.
For 2006, Karl will endeavour to improve his rookie season results alongside new team-mate Toseland. The two will be working together to bring the Winston Ten Kate Honda team success. "Last year we had a lot of speed and we concentrated more on trying to improve that even further, rather than get the best with what we had", declared Karl. "I think the bike is now a step better to being just the way we want it to be, therefore we only need to concentrate to get the best out of it at each race. I can't wait for the season to begin. The level of competition is getting higher, but I will do all I can to improve last year's results and give total satisfaction to my team."