Chris Vermeulen back on podium

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Chris Vermeulen claimed his second podium in seven days at the American GP, though he was powerless to fight with Bridgestone rivals Casey Stoner and Valentino Rossi.

The factory Suzuki rider fought his way through from eighth on the grid to claim a seventh premier class podium that should all but secure his place on a GSV-R in 2009.

He seized third on lap eight from a struggling Nicky Hayden and he said:

“Yesterday I tried some harder tyres and they worked well but in conditions today I was over ambitious in going for the harder front. This year was cooler than last year but I’m happy to be on podium, but just frustrated to be so far behind the others.

“Nicky and Andrea (Dovizioso) were quite fast early on and when I got by I had more pace but I was losing out to Valentino and Casey. They were on another planet and going really quick.

“Once I was eight seconds ahead of Andrea I buttoned off and took no risks for third. I’m really happy to be back on the podium again. That’s two podiums in a row, not just in two races but two in a row at Laguna as well!

“The last two have come in completely different conditions and I think it proves that the Suzuki is becoming a lot more competitive and the changes we are making are getting us a lot closer to the front.

“I was hoping to run with the front two today but I got held up a bit at the start and lost some time. After I had got through they were a long way ahead and I ended up having quite a lonely ride – it was tough to keep my concentration at times as there was nothing to focus on other than count down the laps.”


Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt