Former Rizla Suzuki-man Chris Vermeulen may be returning to the big show, as the Australian has been linked to a CRT ride, after contacting the IodaRacing Project. Also former factory rider for Kawasaki’s World Superbike team, Vermeulen sat out most of the 2010 WSBK season because of a knee injury, and 2011 proved to be no better, as again Vermeulen was sidelined with injuries.
Said to be healthy and ready to ride, Vermeulen’s options for racing MotoGP at this point in time are limited to only CRT entries, and for 2013 IodaRacing and its BMW/Suter machine are the only offer still available. Vocally against the CRT concept, Vermeulen certainly may not like his options in GP racing, though his presence would bring some much needed talent to the CRT-rider pool.
For Vermeulen, the BMW/Suter is a known quantity, as the Australian already auditioned on the BMW/Suter when he filled in Colin Edwards at NGM Forward during the French GP at Le Mans. Riding to a 17th place finish, Vermeulen has been critical of the BMW/Suter CRT bike, and cites Edwards’s poor results on the machine as further proof of the machine’s uncompetitivene state.
Perhaps unrelated to those comments and that result, Suter has expressed some doubts about Vermeulen — mainly that the Australian would be too expensive of a rider. However, Vermeulen balks at this statement, saying he has not asked for a lot of money for his riding services.
Given how the CRT-rider marketplace has been going, asking for any compensation might seem like to high of a price for a private team to pay in this economic climate. Always the more, the merrier — we wouldn’t mind seeing the likable Aussie back on the MotoGP grid.