In the middle of the 2007 season's summer break, MotoGPMatters.com caught up with Suzuki's Chris Vermeulen, and talked to him about racing, the tire and engine rules which came in in 2007, and the direction for Suzuki in 2008. With the winter test ban about to end, and the teams getting ready for the 2008 season, it seems like a good time to run the interview with Chris Vermeulen, and whet our appetites for the thrills to come. Take it away, Chris.
You share a background with Casey Stoner and Ant West in dirt track, and you're all here doing very well in MotoGP. What is it about racing dirt track as kids in Australia that makes you all so good?
I don't know, really. Growing up on the dirt gives you a lot of feel for the bike, I find. It gives us a lot of understanding of what's going on underneath us on the Grand Prix bikes, I guess.
Casey Stoner's father Colin says that Casey's such a fast starter thanks to those short dirt track races. You, on the other hand, tend to be slower off the line, but quick once you get into the groove after a lap or two. Is that a legacy of your later experience in Supersport or Superbike?
That should be lap 10 or 20, not lap 1 or 2! No it's got nothing to do with Superbike or dirt track. I guess I just wait, get into a groove, and make sure everything feels fine. I push as hard as I can from the start, but I've got to be comfortable before I can go really quick , I guess.