18 January 2007 15:30
Aussie Chris Vermeulen embarks on his second year in the MotoGP world championship next week when testing resumes at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia.
The former World Superbike runner-up had a memorable rookie year with the British-based Rizla Suzuki squad and is hoping Suzuki’s early promise with its new generation 800cc machine will help him add to the two pole positions and one podium finish he scored in 2006.
We caught him up with him to gather a few opinions on the campaign ahead before he jetted off from Australia to Sepang.
The seven week testing ban must have been a well earned break for you? “I’ve done three years in World Supersport, two years in World Superbike and now my first year in Grand Prix, it feels like putting all five of them together. It’s a long old season, a lot of racing, a lot of testing and promotional events. I’m sick of travelling in planes and glad to be home and sitting still for a while.”
The amount of testing on top of the races must take a huge toll on you, both mentally and physically?
“There’s a lot of work to do. From Suzuki’s point of view we are their number one riders in the world and every bit of information we give them they use, not only for our bikes, but road bikes as well. So we do a hell of a lot of work, but you know what, I don’t complain about it, because I love riding the bike. When it’s the end of the year it’s good to leave a cold Europe and come home.”