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GP Week : Issue 153
Former Le Mans winner Chris Vermeulen will be returning to the scene of his only GP win this weekend. The Australian will need similar crazy weather to repeat the feat – as he takes the place of injured Colin Edwards on the only BMW-powered CRT bike on the grid. Edwards was struck by a crashing Randy de Puniet’s bike in qualifying at Estoril, and broke his left collarbone, repaired on Monday in Barcelona. It is the fourth time the bone has broken, and the plating operation required ten screws. Edwards has targeted the next race in Barcelona for his return. Vermeulen took Suzuki’s only win in the last decade in 2007, in a race hit by rain with riders switching bikes. When Suzuki dropped strength to one rider Vermeulen was the casualty, and he joined the Kawasaki factory team in World Superbikes. The move was ill-fated: injuries incurred at the opening round ruined his season. Although not ready to retire, Vermeulen declined the opportunity to rejoin Kawasaki in place of the badly injured Superbike rider Joan Lascorz; but took the chance to ride the ill-favoured NGM For ward Racing Suter BMW, still at an early stage of development. “First of all I would like to wish Colin a speedy recovery,” said Vermeulen, grateful for the chance for any sort of run in MotoGP. “Le Mans holds great memories for me,” he said. EDWARDS OUT, VERMEULEN IN FOR FRENCH GP 13 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: MOTOGP >>> NEWS