Vermeulen confident with new Suzuki motor

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Aussie Chris Vermeulen has told MCN he is confident that a new spec Suzuki V4 motor will bolster his hopes of adding to his maiden MotoGP success in France earlier this month.

Vermeulen is now hoping to further elevate his increasing premier class profile by becoming a consistent podium finisher and winner in dry conditions after his rain-soaked Le Mans triumph.

The former World Supersport champion tested the new GSV-R engine in Le Mans and said it will definitely improve his hopes of being a more competitive force in the dry.

“It was a big improvement and it helped with corner entry and corner exit with grip. It looks like we will get one piece each for Mugello,” said Vermeulen, who goes into this weekend’s Italian GP lying fifth in the championship standings.

The 24-year-old said the revised motor, which followed improvements to mid-range acceleration, would be a benefit for the long and technical Mugello track which hosts round six of the championship on Sunday, June 3, 2007.

“A lot of it is better on corner entry and especially at Mugello there’s a lot of downhill off camber entries so if we can get more grip and stability going into those corners it will help us. It is a big step forward and what they’ve done to the engine can be refined.

“This is just the first step. I don’t understand it at all but I know it’s a completely different direction so hopefully with more time it will only get better. Hopefully we’ll be in a much better position.

“I tried one of our old spec engines and I was complaining that it felt a lot slower, but it can’t be that bad because John (Hopkins) got on the podium in China and I was fast with it in Turkey. We have taken big steps so hopefully that can help us,” said the factory Rizla rider.

Vermeulen said the improved stability entering corners allowed him to brake later and attack the corner harder.

He added: “It will make it easier to pass on the brakes. It’s just more stable on the entry and the initial part of rolling on the throttle it was better putting the power down under acceleration.

“Closed throttle going into the corner it would pull the rear of the bike down instead of unloading it, which has been the Suzuki’s tendency. It would hold the rear down and keep the whole bike planted to the ground.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt