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Wildlife park visit for World Championship trio

Wildlife park visit for World Championship trio

Chris Vermeulen, Marco Simoncelli and Julián Simón visited the Maru Wildlife Park close to the Phillip Island circuit on Thursday.

Home rider Chris Vermeulen enjoyed a visit to the Maru Wildlife Park on Thursday ahead of the Iveco Australian Grand Prix, as he, 250cc World Champion Marco Simoncelli and 125cc title candidate Julián Simón got up close and personal with Australian native fauna.

At the park close to the Phillip Island circuit the riders met a range of Australia’s unique native animals, including koalas, kangaroos, dingoes, wombats, a Tasmanian devil and a freshwater crocodile.

“Koalas are really soft animals and it’s good to spend time with them. It’s fun to come out and pet them and the dingoes and all the other animals,” commented the affable Vermeulen as he showed his caring side.

Previewing the weekend the Rizla Suzuki rider went on to say, “It’s a great circuit when the weather’s good and it’s the fastest average-speed circuit we go to. It’s fast and flowing and so picturesque going down the straight, and it always makes for close racing. Fingers crossed we’re going to have a close one and I can be fighting at the front.”

Metis Gilera man Simoncelli also enjoyed the visit to the park, stating, “I’ve enjoyed myself a lot and I like the animals. Here in Australia there a lot of different kinds of strange animals! I’m happy to be here, tomorrow we will start the practice sessions, and I like this circuit a lot. I hope to have a good race. It’s a fantastic circuit and the only one like it.”

Bancaja Aspar 125cc rider Simón added, “I am very happy to be here. I have met some very nice animals like the dingo and the kangaroo and it allows us to change our mentality a little bit and relax before the weekend.”

On the challenge ahead of him as he attempts to clinch the 125cc title, the Spaniard also stated, “I like riding here at Phillip Island and last year I was fourth. It is great fun to ride and we hope the weather is good. My objective is to finish the race and not to make a mistake like in Portugal.”

MotoGP, 2009, Iveco AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX, Chris Vermeulen, Julian Simon, Marco Simoncelli, Bancaja Aspar Team 125cc, Rizla Suzuki MotoGP, Metis Gilera

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