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Vermeulen: Leading a MotoGP no different.

"That's the first time I knew I had a problem. I let go of the brake a little, had to let the bike run wide, and that is when Nicky came past. Even then I didn't worry too much because I know he is fast there, so I just wanted to tag onto the back of him and then try to re-pass him later.

"The point of the race where I thought I was going to be in for a podium at least was when Pedrosa had been behind for four or five laps, and my board still said +0. He either couldn't or wouldn't pass me. I knew there wasn't much to go in the race, and I figured I could fight my way to the podium. I knew that after him there was a gap back to Valentino at that stage, somewhere around three seconds.

"I realised there was a chance for a second place, not just a podium or third. And if Nicky had made a mistake, then we could still be in for a win..."

But then the fuel supply problem hit critical and the former World Supersport champion was forced to allow Pedrosa, Melandri and then Roberts past.

Vermeulen will get the first of six chances for 2006 revenge this weekend in the Czech Republic.

Related Pictures

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