Chris Vermeulen kept himself in touch of the fight for fourth in the MotoGP standings after battling back to fifth place in the San Marino Grand Prix at Misano.

Riding the latest evolution of the Suzuki GSV-R, Vermeulen qualified well in seventh place and was running with the front group into the first turn, but suffered a dramatic highside exiting the second bend.

Almost throwing him off the bike, Vermeulen recovered well but was bumped down to 13th position by the end of the first lap. Nonetheless, the Aussie rider proceeded to charge back up the order, picking off a number of rivals to eventually cross the line in an impressive fifth place.

With the revised bike and a new compound of Bridgestone tyre to evaluate, Vermeulen was more than happy to come away with 11 points, even if he was left wondering what would have been possible had he not almost crashed on the first lap.

"I got a good start and, although I got pushed a bit wide in the first turn, I still thought I'd hold on to my position but as I entered turn two the rear tyre was just not warm enough and I had a big slide. I thought it was all over then, but luckily I landed back on the bike and although I smashed the fairing with my leg no harm was done!

"I didn't quite have the pace that I have had this weekend which was probably due to the higher temperatures, and we certainly slid around a bit more today! This is the first time we have raced with the new chassis and with the new construction front tyre that Bridgestone brought here for us, so with all things considered - and from where I ended the first lap - I think we had a good race.

"The tyres worked especially well and I did my fastest time on lap 25 out of the 28 - it was just a shame I wasn't with the front group from the beginning or things might have been very different!"

Vermeulen is now sixth in the championship standings, eight points behind fifth place Andrea Dovizioso, while Jorge Lorenzo in fourth is still in reach, 30 points up the order.