Chris Vermeulen
Chris Vermeulen

Vermeulen off pace on return

CHRIS Vermeulen struggled on his return to the MotoGP circuit, finishing 17th and two laps off the pace at the French Grand Prix.

It was always going to be a hard ask for the Yandina-raised 29-year-old, having not ridden for eight months and standing in for Forward Racing's Colin Edwards.

Before the race it appeared the stars were aligning for the noted wet-weather specialist when heavy rain began to fall at Le Mans, where he won for Suzuki in 2007. However, he was clearly off the pace.

Vermeulen has been hampered by a knee injury for the past two years and was unable to secure a ride this year.

He said he did not know if he would get another chance to race this year but was keeping his fingers crossed.

"There is no official word about Colin's return yet but I think the team would like to keep me available for testing regardless, with two bikes the progress of development will be much quicker," he told The Daily.

"No offers have come out of this yet, but all of the top teams are full, you never know what might happen in the future."

Jorge Lorenzo regained the series lead from Casey Stoner when he won the race.