TT Assen: Rizla Suzuki race report

Vermeulen battles to seventh at Dutch TT Rizla Suzuki MotoGP racer Chris Vermeulen was involved in a thrilling race at the Dutch TT today, eventually crossing the line in seventh place after many race-long battles. Vermeulen got a good start...

Vermeulen battles to seventh at Dutch TT

Rizla Suzuki MotoGP racer Chris Vermeulen was involved in a thrilling race at the Dutch TT today, eventually crossing the line in seventh place after many race-long battles.

Vermeulen got a good start and was up into sixth by the end of the first lap - from eighth on the grid. He narrowly avoided a crash that forced him wide in the early part of the first lap, but was able to keep control of his Suzuki GSV-R and set about chasing riders in front of him. Vermeulen made a couple of superb overtaking manoeuvres as he made his way up into fourth place. He held on to that position for a few laps although he was under constant pressure from the group of riders around him. As the race progressed front grip became an issue and the 26-year-old Australian had to fight for every place. Vermeulen dropped down to eighth, but immediately fought back to bring his machine home for a hard earned seventh.

Vermeulen was Rizla Suzuki's sole rider at today's Grand Prix following the withdrawal of Loris Capirossi after a crash on Thursday during practice when he injured his arm. Capirossi was present at the circuit for most of the day and has now returned home to continue with his recuperation in readiness for the next event.

Today's race was held in overcast conditions with the threat of rain never far away. It did stay dry throughout the 26 laps and the 94,978 fans at trackside saw Casey Stoner comprehensively win the race by over 11 seconds, as he led from start to finish on his Bridgestone shod Ducati.

Rizla Suzuki MotoGP will next be in action at Sachsenring for the German Grand Prix on Sunday 13th July, where it is planned that Vermeulen will be joined back in the team by Capirossi.

Chris Vermeulen:

"I got a good start and moved into a good position through the first two corners, but I was nearly involved in the crash and had to run wide causing me to almost lose the front. The bike worked really well in the beginning part of the race and I had a lot of grip from the Bridgestones. I felt like my pace was better than the guys in front and I could see them and thought I could get up to them, but once I got past and up into fourth the grip went off a bit and it became quite slippery out there. Unfortunately I lost a bit of time and dropped back a few positions, but I was still quite strong at the end of the race and managed to get back to seventh. Considering the problems we have had this weekend and losing a couple of sessions -- one to problems on the first day and another to the rain -- it is a decent result and we have managed to salvage something from it. Full congratulations to the team they did a great job again, and I'd like to say get well soon to Loris, I hope he is back at Sachsenring so he can give me a run for my money!"

Paul Denning -- Team Manager:

"To qualify eighth and finish seventh in dry conditions today - with Chris as our sole representative - was not too bad. Sure, both Chris and the whole team want more and he pushed hard to get up to fourth with some great passes, but we couldn't maintain the required speed in the middle of the race to battle for the top-five. In the end when Chris re-grouped and pushed to the absolute limit he was able to improve again, but in general we need to break this mould and maintain our speed over full race distance - this is Suzuki's focus over the coming weeks.

"I'd like to thank Loris for staying with the team over the weekend to support us, and for meeting all the local Rizla and Suzuki guests that came to visit the team -- it really showed his true dedication considering the amount of pain he was in. It is such a shame he wasn't out there on one of his favourite racetracks this weekend. I wish him a speedy recovery and I am sure all the fans will want him back on the bike as much as we do at Sachsenring next month!"

-credit: suzuki-racing.com

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Loris Capirossi , Chris Vermeulen , Paul Denning , Casey Stoner