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GP Week : Issue 60
>>Moto GPnews Vermeulen out at Suzuki; Toseland at the door FORMER World Supersport Champion, Australian Chris Vermeulen, is finished with the Rizla Suzuki team – but the confirmation last week by his manager leaves the one-time GP winner out on a limb, and possibly bound for a return to World Superbikes Meantime, double World Superbike Champion James Toseland is in a similar position at his Monster Tech 3 Yamaha team. The Briton’s second-year results have been disappointing; while the satellite Yamaha team is besieged with riders eager to take his place. These include Vermeulen himself, as well as American Ben Spies, Randy de Puniet and Toni Elias. Both have told GPWeek they’d prefer to stay in MotoGP. Vermeulen admitted that Ducati World Superbike team chief Davide Tardozzi was in frequent contact, but added that he was prepared to take a massive wage cut to stay in World Superbikes may benefit as impatient youth squeezes Into MotoGP the senior series, “and the teams know that”. Toseland insisted that MotoGP remained his goal: “I’ve won that championship, and I know how to do it. I prefer a new challenge.” But both might have to accept the inevitable, either agreeing to drop to Moto2 in order to stay in the MotoGP paddock, or going back to Superbikes, with a chance of winning races and titles again. And Toni Elias told GPWeek that at this point the most important thing in deciding which class to join was “a team that really wants me”. The squeeze on these experienced and not entirely unsuccessful riders is coming from impetuous youth, with at least three top 250 riders crowding out the already small grid list. Hector Barbera, confirmed as rider of the new 2010 Aspar Ducati, will join new Rizla Suzuki signing Alvaro Bautista and San Carlo Honda’s recruit Marco Simoncelli. 1