Chris Vermeulen is looking to make a fast start on the San Marino Grand Prix weekend as he attempts to help Rizla Suzuki continue bridging the gap to Yamaha and Ducati in MotoGP.

Suzuki have slipped past Honda on the MotoGP performance hierarchy recently following a trio of consecutive podiums in Germany, the United States and the Czech Republic, momentum they are eager to maintain.

There is more to come too if their performance in the Brno collective test is anything to go by, with Vermeulen and team-mate Loris Capirossi putting a number of new 2009-specification parts to the test.

Indeed, Vermeulen, who scored two of those three podiums, is confident that Suzuki are gradually closing on the frontrunners and is keen to reveal that progress at the circuit where the team scored a double podium last season.

"I really like the Misano circuit and know that I can go well there - as I showed last year with a second place," he said. "We found quite a few things at Brno both during the race weekend and certainly during the test. We were really pleased with the results from the test and now we must translate them to a race.

"I still need to keep pushing as I know I can be competitive and my crew and Suzuki are doing everything they can to make sure we are challenging the front guys from the start of every weekend."