NGM Forward Racing has decided to replace recovering Colin Edwards with former MotoGP and WSBK rider Chris Vermeulen in next week’s French GP race at Le Mans. The Australian dropped out of MotoGP at the end of 2009 when his contract with Rizla Suzuki was not renewed and moved to World Superbikes with Kawasaki, but in the opening round at Phillip Island badly injured his knee which needed extensive reconstruction surgery and he had to pull out of the championship in July 2010. In 2011 after a long period of rehabilitation he suffered another set of injuries which sidelined him again and this season wasn’t picked up. Vermeulen is considered a wet weather specialist and in 2007 he won his only MotoGP race in a very wet Le Mans. .

“First of all I would like to wish Colin a speedy recovery. I am grateful to have the opportunity to race back in MotoGP with the NGM Mobile Forward Racing team,” said Chris Vermeulen. “I am looking forward to my first time on the bike being at Le Mans, a circuit that holds great memories for me including a victory in 2007. I am excited to be racing at the top level of motorcycling again and look forward to working with the team.”

“Several members of the team have previously worked with Chris and I believe that he will imediately find a good feeling with the team,” said Forward Racing’s managing director Marco Curioni. “Vermeulen is an expert rider in MotoGP with experience working with the electronics and the correct use of the tyres, which are two areas in which we are currently working. Chris has previsouly won at Le Mans and knows the track well. I would like to wish Chris good luck and send all my best wishes for a quick recovery to Colin, who is on his way back home.”