American GP - Vermeulen extends Suzuki deal

Eurosport - Mon, 23 Jul 09:22:00 2007

Chris Vermeulen will remain with Suzuki next season after penning a new multi-year deal with the Japanese team.

2007 Chinese GP Suzuki Vermeulen - 0

The 25-year-old Australian, who leapt up to fourth place in the Moto GP World Championship with his second place at the United States Grand Prix, rejected offers from Kawasaki and Tech-3 Yamaha to re-sign with the squad.

And he believes that he can achieve his goal of bringing Suzuki a first world title since 1993, such has been the progress made this season.

I am very excited to be staying with Suzuki. I really enjoy working with the whole team, especially my Chief Mechanic Tom O'Kane," said Vermeulen.

"The involvement of the Factory staff has also been a big factor in my decision, in particular Sahara-san and our Racing Group Leader Oonishi-san.

"The way the development has gone since I first rode the GSV-R in 2005 is incredible! I am sure if we can continue in that direction we will be pushing up to the front every weekend.

"That has got to be the goal, I want to be World Champion and if I can do it with Suzuki I will be so happy!

Vermeulen, already a runner-up and ten-time race winner in the World Superbike Championship, made his Moto GP debut on a Pons Honda at the end of 2005 before switching to Suzuki for the following season, where he has remained ever since.

He achieved the first of his three pole positions in Turkey in 2006 and followed that up with his first victory in this year's French Grand Prix in wet conditions.

The identity of his team-mate is still unknown but it will not be John Hopkins, who is switching to Kawasaki. Ducati veteran Loris Capirossi is expected to be confirmed in the squad's 2008 line-up in time for the Czech Grand Prix in four weeks time.

Jamie O'Leary / Eurosport