Paul Denning is confident Chris Vermeulen will stay at Suzuki
Suzuki not concerned by Chris Vermeulen talks
03 July 2008 09:53
Suzuki bosses insist they are not overly concerned that current factory rider Chris Vermeulen is in talks with rival teans as his future remains uncertain for 2009.
Vermeulen has had talks with the Tech 3 Yamaha squad through his management company, while he is also high on a list of targets to replace Troy Bayliss in Ducati’s factory World Superbike squad.
Rizla Suzuki boss Paul Denning said the Japanese factory still had an interest in retaining Vermeulen for 2009, even though he has struggled for form this season.
“Chris is definitely one of the options and that’s without question. Irrespective of the situation Chris is under strong and positive consideration. But it will be around Laguna Seca time when we feel decisions will start being made.”
Denning says the level of interest in Vermeulen doesn’t concern him, and that he wouldn’t be rushed into a new deal.
“Chris’s management have made it clear the preference is to stay with Suzuki. But they are doing what should be done in covering all bases. We have only got two bikes and it is a tough environment.
"Performance from the team, manufacturer and rider are what dictate future opportunities and I think everyone is right to leave their options open. I’m not concerned that Chris is looking around. I would expect him to look at other options because it is a short career and you have to find best solutions you can.”
Denning said a current priority also was to improve the performance of the factory GSV-R, which has yet to claim a podium in the first nine races of 2009.
He added: “I would say on both riders and any potential additional riders that we are focusing on trying to get race distance performance out of this bike and helping the riders we have got achieve best results they can.
"From a team and Suzuki’s point of view the better result we get the more attractive it is to our current guys and any other prospective riders. So we think we are better off focusing on performance at the moment.”