Qatar test: Chris Vermeulen escapes injury in crash

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Chris Vermeulen’s promising start to 2009 suffered a minor setback when the Aussie suffered a badly swollen right thumb in a crash on the second night of testing in Qatar.

The factory Suzuki rider lost the front of his GSV-R machine on the entry to Turn Six as he only completed 24 laps on a cool and breezy second night in the Middle East.

The former World Supersport champion though was still fifth quickest on another encouraging night for Suzuki, with veteran Italian team-mate Loris Capirossi just one place back in sixth. 

Vermeulen, who was 0.879s slower than impressive compatriot Casey Stoner in first, told MCN: “The track got really unpredictable as it got colder. It would change from lap-to-lap. I was just braking for turn six when I went down with very little warning. I was just straight up and down. The bike cartwheeled a few times but I was just basically caught out by the track conditions.

“It was really windy too and that was blowing a lot of dust onto the track, which didn’t help. When I crashed the track temperature was only 17 degrees and it quickly dropped down to 14, which is pretty much borderline of where the tyres are going to work well. It obviously caught Dani (Pedrosa) and Mika (Kallio) out, so I didn’t bother going back out just to rest my hand too.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt