Press Release
(2005 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
Australian Grand Prix - MotoGP 

Chris Vermeulen debuts in MotoGP with Camel Honda team

The whole of the MotoGP world is eagerly awaiting the debut of Chris Vermeulen,
the Brisbane-born twenty-three year old who was recently confirmed as
vice-champion in the World Superbike Championship. This Friday he will don Camel
Honda colours and will take to the track at his home Grand Prix in Phillip
Island, one of the most spectacular, technical and challenging circuits on the
entire MotoGP calendar. It represents an exciting challenge for the talented
young Australian, who on one hand will be having his first ride on board the
Honda RC211V, but will be doing so at a track he knows every inch of, and which
is a particular favourite. His new team-mate Alex Barros is also a fan of the
Island circuit, where he has his own particular challenge, re-discovering a good
feeling on the front end of his RC211V so he can battle for victory once more.

Sito Pons - Camel Honda 

"It's a real shame that Troy hasn't recovered in time for his home Grand Prix in
Australia. We hope he is able to make a speedy recovery. In his place we have
another Australian this weekend, Chris Vermeulen, who is a really quick rider
but we mustn't forget that it is his MotoGP debut. I think the fact that he
knows the track so well will help him in his first experience on board the
RC211V, and he can also rely upon an experienced team of expert technicians. We
will also be trying our hardest to get the feeling back that Alex has missed in
the last two or three races, and that should see him back on the pace."

Alex Barros #4:

"Phillip Island is a track I really like, it's one of the best on the calendar;
it's fast, technical, with super-fast corners where the front of the bike is
worked really hard, and as such has to be set up perfectly. So I hope that, with
Michelin's help after a week of being able to analyse the problems we have had
in the last few races, we can get back to finding a good set-up between the
tyre-forks combination. Compared to Qatar and Malaysia, Phillip Island will be a
lot cooler, so conditions will be very different. We'll see, I hope to have a
good race."

Chris Vermeulen #77:

It's especially exciting to be able to ride Honda's RC211V at Phillip Island.
It's always good to ride at home because we only get one race there each year -
nice to have friends and family there to support. Phillip Island is one of the
best circuits in the world; it's fast and flowing and that really suits my
riding style. You get a great view of the ocean coming down the start-finish
straight, but maybe I won't get the chance to appreciate that so much on a
factory Honda GP machine at something like 320kph! I've always struggled a bit
on the two hairpins but that's mostly because of the way I've had the bike set
up. Because the rest of the circuit is so fast, there always has to be a bit of
a compromise. Otherwise I love the place and Lukey Heights has to be one of my
three favourite corners anywhere.