Chris Vermeulen (born 19
June 1982, in Brisbane, Australia) is a Grand Prix motorcycle
From the 2006 season he switched permanently from
the Superbike World
to the elite MotoGP
and the Rizla Suzuki
Team. On 28 August 2009 Suzuki confirmed Vermeulen will
leave the team at the end of 2009 season
. He is
regarded as a wet-weather expert 
, and is affectionately nicknamed
'Vermin' on account of his last name.
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
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.
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
He became the team's lead rider for 2003, and became
series champion comfortably with four victories, becoming the
youngest ever winner.
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 lead 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
. Chris continued to record victories, and took
his first pole at Assen in Holland, 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.
comfortably finished as series runner-up .
Move to MotoGP
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
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 18 points behind Hopkins. At the following round
Seca (a track he knows from his World Superbike days) he
took pole position, one of only 2 non-Americans in the first 2 rows
of the grid.
He had a technical problem while running 3rd.
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
The 2007 season saw the introduction of the 800cc GP bikes.
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, 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
Le Mans, where, in a
wet race, Vermuelen rode from 12th on the grid to take his maiden
victory in MotoGP 
. He followed the victory up with an impressive
3rd place at the Nickel & Dime British GP, again from 12th on
the grid in the wet behind winner and fellow countryman Casey Stoner , and pole position in the wet at
Assen . He shone in the dry
by starting third and finishing second at the US GP (Laguna Seca), again behind Stoner.
At this meeting he
was confirmed as a Suzuki rider for 2008 
Suzuki struggled to compete in the [2008 Grand Prix motorcycle
racing season | 2008 MotoGP Championship]], with neither Vermeulen
or teammate Loris Capirossi
secure a race victory. Vermeulen did however secure back-to-back
podiums in the German
and US Grand Prix
finishing the season in eighth place in the rider's
After another difficult season, Vermeulen was told by Suzuki that
he would not be offered a new contract for 2010. Álvaro Bautista
will take his place in
Return to World Superbikes
After failing to secure a contract to remain in MotoGP for the
, Vermeulen sought a return to the Superbike World
On 6 October 2009 it was confirmed that he had signed a contract
with the Kawasaki Superbike
for the 2010 Superbike World
, replacing Makoto
Races by year
() (Races in bold
indicate pole position, races in
indicate pole position)
- He has a penchant for collecting old American Hot Rod cars and
has a few in his collection.
- All his racing numbers have the digit "7" as a tribute to his
mentor Barry Sheene.
- Motorcycle-USA Staff. Chris Vermeulen Bio. Motorcycle-USA.com.
Retrieved on 2009-06-18.
- Chris Vermeulen career World Superbike statistics at
- Madson, Bart. MotoGP A Closer Look at the 800s.
Motorcycle-USA.com. Retrieved on 2009-06-18.