Vermeulen ready to impress home crowd

Friday, 9 October 2009

Chris Vermeulen is using the inspiration of riding on home soil to prepare himself for a strong showing at Phillip Island.

Rizla Suzuki rider Chris Vermeulen is aiming for an impressive display on his native track at Phillip Island in the Iveco Australian Grand Prix over the weekend of 16th-18th October.

Vermeulen secured second spot three years ago in front of his home crowd, but a first-lap collision at last year’s race saw him finish in 15th place.

This time around, the 27-year-old is determined to continue building on the progress his GSV-R machine made at Estoril, where a tenth-placed finish from 15th on the grid has given him added confidence ahead of the Australian GP.

“A home GP is always very exciting because all my friends and family will be there and it's always good to race in front of your countrymen,” said Vermeulen. “The last time out at Estoril we made improvements in the longer corners with the GSV-R, so hopefully that will help us at Phillip Island. That long straight is going to be hard work, but we'll certainly be trying as hard as we can to keep in the slipstream. I really love racing at Phillip Island and hopefully we'll have a good time there!”

Vermeulen’s team-mate Loris Capirossi, who has recorded six podium finishes in 11 races at Phillip Island in his career, is fully focused on recovering from a 20th-lap retirement at Estoril.

“I am still disappointed by what happened in the race at Estoril, but I am confident of doing much better at Phillip Island than we have in the past on the GSV-R because of the developments we made in Portugal,” said the Italian. “I had a tough race in Australia last year, but we did improve on lap-times and with the new bike I think we should be aiming for an even better result this year. We have struggled at Phillip Island in the past, but we are certainly going there in a much better state of mind than we have done for previous visits.”

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