Chris Vermeulen
Chris Vermeulen Warren Lynam

Vermeulen back in the saddle

YANDINA'S Chris Vermeulen has been given a chance to resurrect his MotoGP career after securing a ride for new team Forward Racing.

The popular 29-year-old - whose previous 68-start MotoGP career ended in 2009 - will replace injured American Colin Edwards for the next round of the championship at France's famed Le Mans circuit on May 20.

Edwards broke a collarbone in a qualifying crash at Estoril last weekend and is expected to be sidelined for only one round.

Although Vermeulen's stint on the bike will likely be short, he hopes it could lead to further opportunities.

The laidback Queenslander - who has one win, seven podium finishes and three pole positions in MotoGP with a best overall finish of 11th in 2009 - has not ridden since splitting with Kawasaki's World Superbike team at the end of 2011 after two injury-marred seasons.

The Daily yesterday contacted Vermeulen who has been in Switzerland for the past three weeks on holiday.

"It is a new bike and team in MotoGP that I will riding so the team are looking for information about the bike and development, and I enjoy that part of racing as well," he said in an email exchange.

"So I hope I can give them information they need.

"There is always a possibility that from this I could get more opportunities, but I just want to go out there and enjoy racing the BMW Suter bike in Le Mans."

Vermeulen said he had been doing everything possible to get another ride.

"I have just worked on being physically fit again and letting teams know I was available for a situation like this or do testing work for a team," he said.

"I love riding bikes and (riding) the best bikes there are."

In what could be a great omen for Vermeulen, his only MotoGP win came at Le Mans in 2007 when he rode to victory from 12th place on the grid.

He is extremely quick when it rains, so it should come as no surprised that his Le Mans win was in the wet.

"Le Mans has great memories for me ... and I do enjoy the circuit," he said.

"(But) this is a very different bike I will be riding there, so I will try to get the most out of the bike on the track.

"I am hoping first of all that I can get my body and mind up to speed and have fun on the bike."



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