The opportunity arises due to an injury to Troy Bayliss, but the opportunity is there because of the huge talent of Chris Vermeulen. We have written about Vermeulen before, and the 23-year old Austrailian has just wrapped up a second place in the WSB championship. Now, he makes his MotoGP debut this Friday at his home track in Phillip Island aboard a Camel Honda RC211V.
It is no secret that Honda is now on a bit of a “youth kick”. Nicky Hayden is only part of that. Honda wants to develop talented, young riders, and now realizes that leaving those young talents outside the MotoGP paddock too long can make their transition that much more difficult. Enter Vermeulen.
A healthy Vermeulen is clearly headed for MotoGP, but the focus is on this weekend at Phillip Island in a one-off race aboard Bayliss’ machine. Apparently, Vermeulen has almost zero seat time on the MotoGP rocket he will race this weekend, so we shouldn’t expect too much. Given Vermeulen’s talent, however, if you are familiar with him you will expect much nonetheless. It will be interesting to watch.