New to motogp.com?Register here

Tickets purchase
VideoPass purchase

Hopkins looking to upstage Vermeulen on home patch

Hopkins looking to upstage Vermeulen on home patch

The close competition and mutual respect between Rizla Suzuki pair John Hopkins and Chris Vermeulen will be visible again this weekend on the latters home patch, with the former aiming to creep further ahead of his team-mate in the battle for fourth place in the World Championship.

The close competition and mutual respect between Rizla Suzuki pair John Hopkins and Chris Vermeulen will be visible again this weekend on the latters home patch, with the former aiming to creep further ahead of his team-mate in the battle for fourth place in the World Championship.

The GMC Australian Grand Prix will meanwhile see Vermeulen aim to go one better than his impressive run to second place in last years race, as he seeks to bridge the current four point gap on fourth placed colleague Hopkins.

Although Hopper will depart for Kawasaki at the end of the season, Suzuki are currently experiencing their best season since the introduction of the four-stroke regulations and the positive atmosphere in the pit-box is obvious, despite a recent drop in results.

Ahead of the only Grand Prix held south of the equator this season, Hopkins is determined to get back on the podium after a relative blip in performance which has seen him struggle in qualifying and finish sixth and tenth in the last two races respectively.

The Anglo-American rider commented: The last couple of events have not gone how wed wanted, but we need to move on and give the best performance we can in Australia. Weve had a couple of weeks holiday so I am fully refreshed and ready to go, so when I get on that jet to head down south I will just have Friday on my mind and getting back on the bike and trying to step up on the podium on Sunday.

Chris is at home this week and its only natural that he will want to go very well there, but he beat me in America at my home Grand Prix so I owe him one for that!

For Vermeulens biggest weekend of the season he will be sporting a special edition livery in honour of former World Champion Barry Sheene, a Suzuki legend and one-time personal mentor to the current MotoGP rider.

Vermeulen stated: We need to get to Phillip Island and get into the groove as quickly as possible after the last couple of tough races. I will have the new sensation of riding a bike in a different livery to my team-mate, but that is not going to improve the performance so we need to work hard right from the start and make sure that we can experience more of the good times that we have already had this season.

This is a going to be a huge event this year as ticket sales are up so we are expecting a pretty crowded house at Phillip Island and we will be trying to make sure that we put on a good performance in front of my home fans. I got a podium here last year and will be looking to at least repeat that this season!

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, GMC AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX, Chris Vermeulen, John Hopkins

Other updates you may be interested in ›