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MotoGP Q&A - Chris Vermeulen

When I look back I actually feel quite satisfied with what I've done. I won a WSS championship which no one can take away from me and also came close to winning a WSBK one. I think I was riding well at that time and won a lot of races and it was just circumstances which stopped me getting the main prize.

When I got on the GP bike I was Suzuki's only race winner in the four stroke era and also got seven podiums for them and that gives me a great sense of satisfaction. More than that, I have very happy memories of that time and really enjoyed developing that bike and moving it in a good direction.

Maybe there are some decisions that I made where if I'd made a different one things could have moved in a better direction, but ultimately you just don't know. Ifs, buts and maybes aren't what I do and I really don't have any regrets. My memories of my racing career feel pretty warm.

Some people say to me that I might have done better on a Honda in the GPs but that's just speculation because I might have actually done worse. You just can't tell, but the results I got stand for themselves.

I had a really great team in Suzuki MotoGP and they gave me the best opportunities which I could sometimes repay with a podium.
Which things do you miss in racing and which don't you?

Chris Vermeulen:
I just miss riding the best bikes in the world and developing them, I miss working with the various engineers to do bike development. It was such a privilege to ride those incredible bikes that not many other people have ridden. It's the bikes I miss.

I certainly don't miss the politics of the sport and like all Australian riders I don't miss the traveling and living out of a suitcase. Being away from home is hard where you don't have your family and friends. It's basically all the stuff around riding the bike that I didn't like.
When you say 'politics', what do you mean?

Chris Vermeulen:
I think it's actually getting worse now with a lot of riders having to bring money into the sport to get a job. Sometimes it's not the best rider who gets the job and that's a shame, it's often someone who provides the biggest commercial gain for a company. There's a lot of that going on.

Also it's all about selling TV time for Dorna and they need riders from the countries that watch the sport. It's working pretty well for the UK at the moment but probably not so well for Australia. It's just a shame that it's often not the best or most deserving rider that gets the bike. Don't get me wrong, there are loads of good riders in GP at the moment but maybe there are some who shouldn't be there. I don't want to put my foot in it by saying which ones I think those are though.
Which of the teams did you most enjoy being with?

Chris Vermeulen:
I was lucky because things improved throughout my career. When I first came to England and raced for Honda, that was a good team. I then got an improvement to Castrol Honda and then again to Ten Kate.

by Christian Tiburtius

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January 20, 2014 7:42 PM

Great interview and I can relate to him, eventually you realise that there is more to life than fighting politics and living out of a suitcase. Was interesting reading his thoughts about riders and the current state of MotoGP.

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