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Vermeulen uses hindsight on Le Mans change timing

Vermeulen uses hindsight on Le Mans change timing

Australian admits that bike switch was perhaps made too late.

Chris Vermeulen is one of four flag-to-flag racewinners since the introduction of the format in 2006, and he returned to the scene of his only Grand Prix triumph to date last week at Le Mans. The circumstances were different for the Australian –the race went from wet to dry- but nonetheless he was back in pit lane changing Suzuki GSV-R’s during the French visit.

“The conditions were the reverse order of a couple of years ago, when we won here. Knowing when to come in was really a tough decision, and we probably came in a little bit too late in hindsight,” admitted Vermeulen after taking a season-best result of sixth.

“When you’re out there it’s difficult to know who is coming in and what tyres those on track are using. I saw Rossi come in and go back out on slicks. Then when I saw him go down I thought that it wasn’t the right thing to do. We’ve got some good points and our best result of the season, so it worked out alright.”

The desire to gain an extra advantage led to riders mulling over the possibility of starting the race with slick tyres, although the timing of the sunshine did not quite lend itself to such risk-taking. Instead there were plenty of nervous moments as the riders went out on wets.

“There were sections that were completely dry when we started, and that was just cooking the wet tyres. Then you’d get to a corner that was soaking wet. It was a gamble, but in the end the track was more or less completely dry,” explained the Suzuki man, before looking forward to the next round on the MotoGP calendar.

“Mugello is going to be a hard one for us. The Suzuki’s speed is not the quickest, that’s no secret, so the big long straight is probably going to hurt us. However, we’ve had a good result and are looking to improve upon it next time out.”

MotoGP, 2009, GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE, Chris Vermeulen, Rizla Suzuki MotoGP

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