Gordon Hatch, MotoGP Correspondent
Former MotoGP race-winner to compete at circuit of his victory
Having undergone surgery on his broken left collarbone after being taken out by an errand Power Electronics Aspar machine belonging to Randy De Puniet in qualifying for the Grand Prix of Estoril in Portugal, Colin Edwards learned that his NGM forward Racing team have chosen Chris Vermeulen to replace him at the next round at Le Mans, France.
The NGM Forward Racing team confirmed today (Wednesday 9th May) that the Australian rider Chris Vermeulen would be substituting Edwards at the Monster Energy Grand Prix De France.
I am grateful to have the opportunity to race back in MotoGP with the NGM Mobile Forward Racing team.
Vermeulen has a four years previous experience in MotoGP with the Rizla Suzuki team from 2006 until 2009 and registered his only win in the MotoGP Class in 2007 at the Le Mans round.
While Edwards left Instituto Unversitario DEXEUS this morning and is now on his way home to the USA where he will begin physical therapy in about a week, Vermeulen spoke about his happiness of being back in the MotoGP paddock especially at the track where he tasted glory in the premier class.
“First of all I would like to wish Colin a speedy recovery,” said Vermeulen who added, “I am grateful to have the opportunity to race back in MotoGP with the NGM Mobile Forward Racing team. I am looking forward to my first time on the bike being at Le Mans, a circuit that holds great memories for me including a Victory in 2007. I am excited to be racing at the top level of motorcycling again and look forward to working with the team.”
Managing Director of the NGM Mobile Forward Racing team Marco Curioni welcomed Vermeulen into the team. “In this unfortunate situation that sees Colin Edwards unable to race until the Catalunya GP, we take the opportunity to involve Chris Vermeulen in the team for the Le Mans GP. Several members of the team have previously worked with him and I believe that Chris will immediately find a good feeling with the team.
Vermeulen is an expert rider in MotoGP with experience working with the electronics and the correct use of the tires, which are two areas in which we are currently working. Chris has previously won at Le Mans and knows the track well. I would like to wish Chris good luck and send all my best wishes for a quick recovery to Colin, who is on his way back home,” Curioni added.