Chris Vermeulen

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Chris Vermeulen
Chris Vermuelen.jpg
Nationality  Australian
Born (1982-06-19) 19 June 1982 (age 32)
Brisbane, Queensland
Website chrisvermeulen.com
Motorcycle racing career statistics
MotoGP World Championship
Active years 20052009, 2012
Manufacturers Honda, Suzuki, Suter
Championships 0
2012 Championship position NC (0 pts)
Starts Wins Podiums Poles F. laps Points
73 1 7 3 1 521
Superbike World Championship
Active years 2004 – 2005, 2010–
Manufacturers Honda, Kawasaki
Starts Wins Podiums Poles F. laps Points
45 10 23 3 7 661
Supersport World Championship
Active years 2000–2003
Manufacturers Honda
Championships 1
Starts Wins Podiums Poles F. laps Points
37 4 10 5 3 334

Chris Vermeulen (born 19 June 1982, in Brisbane, Australia) is a motorcycle racer, who last competed in the World Superbike Championship for the works Kawasaki team. He originally raced in the class in 2004 and 2005 for the Ten Kate Honda team, finishing as series runner-up in 2005. He also won the World Supersport Championship for Ten Kate in 2003.

From 2006 season season he joined the elite MotoGP series, for the Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Team. On 28 August 2009 Suzuki confirmed Vermeulen will leave the team at the end of the 2009 season.[1] He is regarded as a wet-weather expert,[2] and is affectionately nicknamed 'Vermin' on account of his last name.

Superbike[edit]

In 1999 he raced in the Australian Superbike Championship, despite only having participated in a handful of professional races beforehand. He took his Yamaha to 8th in the championship, with a best result of 4th, and the privateer championship for non-factory riders. His mentor Barry Sheene then arranged rides for him in Britain in their Supersport and Superstock classes, and success in these gave him his World Supersport break with Castrol Honda.

Initial success in a few late-2000 races did not translate into a successful 2001, as he only managed a single top 5 finish. However, in 2002 he linked up with Dutch team owner Gerrit Ten Kate, taking his first poles and podiums en route to 7th in the championship in the 2002 season. He became the team's lead rider for 2003, and became series champion comfortably with four victories, becoming the youngest ever winner.[3]

World Superbike[edit]

When Ten Kate arranged a deal to run a Honda Fireblade in World Superbikes for 2004, Chris was the natural choice to ride it. The team did their own development on the bike (in its first test they still used a road-bike clutch), but he still won four races and briefly led the championship before finishing 4th, as the only non-Ducati in the top 8.

For 2005 the championship had many Yamaha and Suzuki bikes, as well as 4 more Hondas including a second Ten Kate entry for Karl Muggeridge. Chris continued to record victories, and took his first pole at Assen in the Netherlands, the country in which his grandfather was born. Victory in the first race at Imola took him to within 55 points of veteran compatriot Troy Corser's lead, but the cancellation of the second race due to heavy rain meant that only 50 points were still available from the remaining round's 2 races. He still comfortably finished as series runner-up.[4]

Move to MotoGP[edit]

He rode factory bikes for Honda in the Suzuka 8 Hours race and, because of sponsorship and manufacturer relationships (Japan Tobacco and Honda, as the Ten Kate Honda team was sponsored by Winston a Japan Tobacco brand), also rode a Camel Pons Honda GP bike at the tail end of the 2005 season.

His progress towards a factory Honda ride seemed assured but Honda were only offering him another year in World Superbike, and Japan Tobacco had switched to Yamaha in MotoGP, so he made the bold decision to quit HRC and go with team Suzuki who signed him in 2006 alongside fellow youngster John Hopkins.

2006 Season[edit]

Chris 2006 PI2.jpg

He scored his first MotoGP pole in Turkey after a stunning ride in the wet, coincidentally one round after fellow Australian rookie Casey Stoner scored his maiden pole. After the Sachsenring race he was 14th in the championship on 46 points, 4 places and eighteen points behind Hopkins. At the following round at Laguna Seca, Vermeulen took pole position, one of only two non-Americans in the first two rows of the grid. Vermeulen was one the few riders to have experience of the circuit, due to it being a former circuit of World Superbikes, and was holding its first Grand Prix race since 1993. He had a technical problem while running third. In his home race at Philip Island he was the fastest man once the field had changed to wet tyres, and charged through the field to finish 2nd.[3]

2007 season[edit]

The 2007 season saw the introduction of the 800cc GP bikes.[5] Vermeulen made the transition well, achieving a modestly competitive start to his 2007 campaign, with two 7th places, a 9th and an 11th place in the first 4 GPs of the season,[3] consistently racking up points which saw him place inside the top 10 riders for the season. His season came alive on the 20 May 2007 at the Bugatti Circuit Le Mans, where, in a wet race, Vermuelen rode from 12th on the grid to take his maiden victory in MotoGP.[6] He followed the victory up with an impressive 3rd place at the British GP, again from 12th on the grid in the wet behind winner and fellow countryman Casey Stoner,[7] and pole position in the wet at Assen.[8] He shone in the dry by starting third and finishing second at the US GP (Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca), again behind Stoner. At this meeting he was confirmed as a Suzuki rider for 2008.[9]

2008 season[edit]

Suzuki struggled to compete in the 2008 MotoGP Championship, with neither Vermeulen or teammate Loris Capirossi able to secure a race victory. Vermeulen did however secure back-to-back podiums in the German Grand Prix and US Grand Prix before finishing the season in eighth place in the rider's standings.

2009 season[edit]

Although Vermeulen finished every race in 2009, he took just one top-five finish and was generally outpaced by Capirossi. After another difficult season, Vermeulen was told by Suzuki that he would not be offered a new contract for 2010. Álvaro Bautista took his place in the team.

Return to World Superbikes[edit]

After failing to secure a contract to remain in MotoGP for the 2010 Championship, Vermeulen sought a return to the Superbike World Championship.

On 6 October 2009 it was confirmed that he had signed a contract with the Kawasaki Superbike Team for the 2010 Superbike World Championship season, replacing Makoto Tamada.[10] Vermeulen injured his knee in a crash at the season-opening round at Phillip Island, forcing him to miss the next two races. He continued to struggle throughout the season, and reinjured the knee in a first-lap pile-up at Brno. Following medical advice, he then chose to sit out the remainder of the season in order to regain full fitness.[11]

Personal life[edit]

In 2011, Vermeulen married his longtime girlfriend, the English model turned photographer Toni Pinion. All his racing numbers have the digit "7" as a tribute to his mentor Barry Sheene. He has a penchant for collecting old American Hot Rod cars and has a few in his collection.

Career statistics[edit]

World Superbike Championship[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Make 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Pos Pts Ref
R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2
2004 Honda SPA
12
SPA
5
AUS
2
AUS
2
SMR
5
SMR
12
ITA
4
ITA
DSQ
GER
15
GER
8
GBR
2
GBR
1
USA
1
USA
1
GBR
4
GBR
3
NED
5
NED
1
ITA
2
ITA
6
FRA
Ret
FRA
Ret
4th 282 [12]
2005 QAT
8
QAT
4
AUS
3
AUS
4
SPA
2
SPA
2
ITA
Ret
ITA
1
EUR
4
EUR
4
SMR
2
SMR
2
CZE
8
CZE
3
GBR
4
GBR
3
NED
1
NED
1
GER
1
GER
2
ITA
1
ITA
C
FRA
1
FRA
Ret
2nd 379
2010 Kawasaki AUS
Ret
AUS
Ret
POR
DNS
POR
DNS
SPA
SPA
NED
17
NED
14
ITA
18
ITA
13
RSA
18
RSA
16
USA
15
USA
13
SMR
16
SMR
15
CZE
Ret
CZE
Ret
GBR
GBR
GER
GER
ITA
ITA
FRA
FRA
20th 10
2011 AUS
AUS
GBR
DNS
GBR
DNS
NED
Ret
NED
DNS
ITA
DNS
ITA
DNS
USA
USA
SMR
14
SMR
10
SPA
12
SPA
14
CZE
18
CZE
DNS
GBR
GBR
GER
GER
ITA
ITA
FRA
FRA
POR
POR
20th 14

MotoGP[edit]

By season[edit]

Seas Class Bike Team Race Win Pod Pole FLap Pts Plcd WCh
2005 MotoGP Honda RC211V Pons Racing 2 0 0 0 0 10 21st
2006 MotoGP Suzuki GSV-R Suzuki MotoGP 17 0 1 2 0 98 11th
2007 MotoGP Suzuki GSV-R Suzuki MotoGP 18 1 4 1 1 179 6th
2008 MotoGP Suzuki GSV-R Suzuki MotoGP 18 0 2 0 0 128 8th
2009 MotoGP Suzuki GSV-R Suzuki MotoGP 17 0 0 0 0 106 12th
2012 MotoGP Suter MMX1 Forward Racing 1 0 0 0 0 0 NC
Total 73 1 7 3 1 521 0

By class[edit]

Class Seas 1st GP 1st Pod 1st Win Race Win Podiums Pole FLap Pts WChmp
MotoGP 2005–2009, 2012– 2005 Australia 2006 Australia 2007 France 73 1 7 3 1 521 0
Total 2005–2009, 2012– 73 1 7 3 1 521 0

Races by year[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position, races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Class Bike 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Pos Pts
2005 MotoGP Honda SPA POR CHN FRA ITA CAT NED USA GBR GER CZE JPN MAL QAT AUS
11
TUR
11
VAL 21st 10
2006 MotoGP Suzuki SPA
12
QAT
Ret
TUR
7
CHN
Ret
FRA
10
ITA
14
CAT
6
NED
10
GBR
16
GER
7
USA
5
CZE
12
MAL
11
AUS
2
JPN
11
POR
9
VAL
Ret
11th 98
2007 MotoGP Suzuki QAT
7
SPA
9
TUR
11
CHN
7
FRA
1
ITA
8
CAT
7
GBR
3
NED
16
GER
11
USA
2
CZE
5
SMR
2
POR
13
JPN
11
AUS
8
MAL
7
VAL
6
6th 179
2008 MotoGP Suzuki QAT
17
SPA
10
POR
8
CHN
Ret
FRA
5
ITA
10
CAT
7
GBR
8
NED
7
GER
3
USA
3
CZE
6
SMR
5
IND
9
JPN
Ret
AUS
15
MAL
9
VAL
13
8th 128
2009 MotoGP Suzuki QAT
7
JPN
10
SPA
10
FRA
6
ITA
10
CAT
11
NED
5
USA
8
GER
13
GBR
13
CZE
11
IND
11
SMR
9
POR
10
AUS
11
MAL
6
VAL
15
12th 106
2012 MotoGP Suter QAT SPA POR FRA
17
CAT GBR NED GER ITA USA IND CZE RSM ARA JPN MAL AUS VAL NC 0

References[edit]

  1. ^ Strang, Simon (2009-08-27). "Suzuki confirms Vermeulen departure". autosport.com (Haymarket Publications). Retrieved 2010-02-22. 
  2. ^ Hull, Rob (2007-06-24). "British GP: Post race reaction: Chris Vermeulen". Motorcycle News (Bauer Media Group). Retrieved 2010-02-22. 
  3. ^ a b c Motorcycle-USA Staff. Chris Vermeulen Bio. Motorcycle-USA.com. Retrieved on 2009-06-18.
  4. ^ Chris Vermeulen career World Superbike statistics at worldsbk.com
  5. ^ Madson, Bart. MotoGP A Closer Look at the 800s. Motorcycle-USA.com. Retrieved on 2009-06-18.
  6. ^ "Chris Vermeulen the MotoGP rainmaster in France". f1network.net. 2007-05-21. Retrieved 2011-12-14. 
  7. ^ "British GP: Post race reaction: Chris Vermeulen". Motor Cycle News (Bauer Media Group). 2007-06-24. Retrieved 2011-12-14. 
  8. ^ "Chris Vermeulen gets wet Dutch pole". HighRevs.net. 2007-06-29. Retrieved 2011-12-14. 
  9. ^ "American GP – Vermeulen extends Suzuki deal". Eurosport. 2007-07-23. Archived from the original on 2007-08-28. Retrieved 2011-12-14. 
  10. ^ "Vermeulen WSB Kawasaki switch confirmed". Insidebikes. Retrieved 6 October 2009. 
  11. ^ "Vermeulen to skip remainder of 2010 season". crash.net (Crash Media Group). 2010-07-13. Retrieved 2010-07-17. 
  12. ^ Vermeulen's profile – WorldSBK.com

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Fabien Foret
World Supersport Champion
2003
Succeeded by
Karl Muggeridge