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Solid start for stand-in Vermeulen

"I'm sure tomorrow we can improve the bike and hopefully go a bit quicker" - Chris Vermeulen.
Chris Vermeulen put in a solid performance on the first day of his MotoGP return as a stand-in for the injured Colin Edwards at Le Mans.

The Australian, who won the wet 2007 French MotoGP for Suzuki, left grand prix at the end of 2009 for a return to WSBK - but has been sidelined by a knee injury for most of the last two years.

Called up to replace Edwards by Forward Racing, Vermeulen had no prior laps on the Suter-BMW CRT machine heading into Friday practice, but made clear progress as he moved from 7.077s off countryman Casey Stoner in FP1 to 5.643s after FP2.

Perhaps of more relevance, Vermeulen finished day one within two-seconds of the main CRT pack - and less than one-second from PBM's James Ellison.

“First of all I would like to thank the NGM Mobile Forward Racing Team for giving me the opportunity, it's great to be back in the premier class of motorcycle racing,” said Vermeulen.

“Definitely wasn't easy to start again after about eight months of no riding... to feel the brakes and the tyres and this sort of racing bike again. But I really enjoyed my time on the bike today.

“We have a lot of work to do with development on the bike and I think everybody knows that. I hope my feedback is positive for the team and I'm sure tomorrow we can improve the bike and hopefully go a bit quicker.”

Crew chief Kornelis Veldeman appreciates Vermeulen's input and intends to try and morph the bike more to his personal liking on Saturday.

“Having Chris on the bike today has been positive for both Chris and the team,” said Veldeman. “He has given us his feedback on the bike: good comments, how the bike reacts. Step-by-step Chris is improving his lap times, from this morning we improved a few seconds and there is room for improvement after making some changes.

“All and all we are working in the right direction. The focus for tomorrow will be the chassis and keep working on the electronics for the engine break, we need to provide him more engine brake compared to what Colin usually uses.”

Edwards, who broke his collarbone at Estoril, intends to return for the following Catalan round.


Tagged as: Chris Vermeulen

Related Pictures

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Vermeulen,  French MotoGP 2012
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Cristian Gabbarini and Chris Pike, Qatar MotoGP test 2016
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Chris Pike and Rabat, Phillip Island MotoGP test, February 2016
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Redding and Chris Pike, Grand Prix of the Americas, 2015.
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Chris Pike and Scott Redding, Qatar MotoGP 2015
Chris Pike, Reddings crew chief, Qatar MotoGP test March 2015
Chris Pike, Reddings crew chief, Qatar MotoGP test March 2015
Chris Pike, Reddings crew chief, Qatar MotoGP test March 2015
Bartholemy and Chris Pike, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2014

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yamafizzer - Unregistered

May 18, 2012 8:06 PM

So I guess this marks the first time a CRT will be ridden by someone that has won a GP before? Either way I have no interest in watching Colin ride this thing... if you're going to be on an I4, production-based (powered) bike, just go back to WSB where you will be in the mix again! Go back while you can, this MotoGP thing just isn't where you belong anymore.... got the talent, but this bike will never put you where you could be, much less even mid-pack.



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