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Vermeulen signs on at Suzuki

Vermeulen signs on at Suzuki

Vermeulen signs on at Suzuki

Suzuki and Chris Vermeulen have agreed terms on a two-year deal which will see the rising Australian star race the Suzuki GSV-R in the 2006 and 2007 seasons. Vermeulen joins Team Suzuki MotoGP after a successful season in the World Superbike Championship, riding for Ten Kate Honda, where he finished the season in second place overall. The 23-year-old will ride the GSV-R for the first time in the forthcoming Valencia test on Wednesday 9th and Thursday 10th November.

"I'm so excited about the prospects for next year," said Vermeulen, who made his MotoGP debut at Phillip Island standing in for Troy Bayliss. "It's obviously going to be a difficult season to begin with, there are a lot of new tracks to learn, a new bike and a new team, but I know I am up for the challenge."

"I've known Paul Denning since I came to England in 2000 and I'm really looking forward to working with him as well as the whole team. I'll try to take that step up to fill the shoes of Suzuki World Champions like Barry Sheene - Barry was the guy that gave me my first chance - Kevin Schwantz and Kenny Junior. These are all guys that I really respect."

"I'm also looking forward to working with Bridgestone as well as Suzuki. It's another new tyre manufacturer for me. I've never ridden on them before, but I've heard and seen a lot of good things and hopefully we can do well together."

"I want to thank Suzuki for giving me this chance in MotoGP and for trusting in my ability. Suzuki has been very honest about their current position and about its future plans. I am very happy to be part of those plans and I'll be doing everything I can to make sure Suzuki's faith in me is repaid."

Born in Brisbane, Australia, Vermeulen began racing dirt track bikes at the age of 12, before moving onto 250 and 600cc machines in the Australian Championship. In 2000 his talent was noticed by former Suzuki World Champion Barry Sheene, and the late British hero persuaded Vermeulen to travel to Britain to race. A year in the British Supersport and Superstock championships followed and Vermeulen scored his first Supersport win at Donington Park, accompanied by five wins in the Superstock championship.

For the 2001 season Vermeulen moved onto the world stage with a ride in World Supersport and in 2003 raced to the title in only his third season in this very competitive championship. Vermeulen then made the progression into Superbikes in 2004, developing his machine into a serious contender and notching up four victories.

MotoGP, 2005, Chris Vermeulen

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