NGM Forward Racing has named veteran MotoGP racer Chris Vermeulen the substitute rider for the injured Colin Edwards at the May 20 French Grand Prix at Le Mans. Vermeulen will ride the team’s BMW-powered Suter Claiming Rule machine.
Vermeulen raced four full seasons in MotoGP from 2006-2009, all with the Rizla Suzuki team. He has a single victory to his credit, also at Le Mans. Vermeulen also has seven podium finishes in MotoGP with a career-best sixth-place finish in the 2007 championship. Vermeulen raced in the World Superbike series the last two years for Kawasaki though he struggled with a number of injuries.
Edwards fractured his left collarbone in five pieces in a crash during qualifying at the Estoril round last weekend and underwent surgery to insert a titanium plate. Edwards had previously broken his collarbone four times but the team hopes he will be ready for the June 3 Catalunya round.
“First of all I would like to wish Colin a speedy recovery. I am grateful to have the opportunity to race back in MotoGP with the NGM Mobile Forward Racing team,” says Vermeulen. “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.”
Forward Racing seems to have a lot of pull for a first-year Claiming Rule Team. The team was able to sign a veteran like Colin Edwards to be its rider, and after he gets injured, was able to hire the services of another veteran like Vermeulen.
“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,” says Marco Curioni, managing director of Forward Racing. “Chris has previously won at Le Mans and knows the track well.”
[Source: Forward Racing]