He was taken to the medical centre, and was put under observation to ensure there were no problems with his spleen, but in the end fortunately all the tests came back negative and he was released. In the next few days he will be forced to take some rest. Chris Vermeulen’s MotoGP debut was a success, as he crossed the finish line he was just a whisker away from the top 10 in the Phillip Island Grand Prix, in eleventh place. The young Australian is also confirmed to ride for the team in Turkey next weekend.
Sito Pons – Camel Honda
“I’m obviously very disappointed about Alex’s crash, but luckily despite the way he spectacularly flew through the air there were no serious injuries, although it was a big bump. He started with a disadvantage - on the grid in twelfth place – but he managed to make lots of passing manoeuvres and made his way up to sixth, which he held on to with a good rhythm. Then he lost the front and crashed. As regards Chris, I think he did a really good race. He didn’t get a good start, but then he recovered quickly and overtook three riders and rode at a similar rhythm to the group in front of him. He still has a lot to learn, but he has shown the mentality and the work ethic required to do well. He will ride with us again in Turkey and he will be able to improve even more.”
Alex Barros – Camel Honda – crash
“At the moment I’m in a lot of pain even though they’ve given me some painkillers. I took a big hit to my side but everything’s hurting at the moment. I was riding well, keeping my rhythm going without pushing too hard but then I suddenly lost control of the front. It would have all been okay if I had just slid out and travelled along the ground, but when I hit the gravel trap the sudden deceleration flipped me up into the air. In any case now I must try and rest as much as possible before we decide what to do in Turkey.”
Chris Vermeulen – Camel Honda – 11th
“It was an okay race, nothing more as far as I’m concerned. I wanted to get into the top ten, but I got boxed in at the start and took the first lap cautiously. Then I picked up the pace, I felt good and passed Jacque, Xaus and Hopkins. They’re all riders with experience and as I followed them before attacking, especially John, I learnt so many things about race management. This one was longer than the ones I’m used to, and the last five laps are crucial. By the end my tyres were well worn, too much to think about Nakano ahead, as I had planned. It was my mistake, I had used them up too much at the beginning and on the last lap Hopkins got back past me. Inexperience, but it’s a lesson for the next race. Working with this vastly experienced team is teaching me so much so quickly.”