Q. Both Suzukis are languishing at the back at the moment, what message does that send back to the factory?
Chris Vermeulen: It's a bad thing because I don't want to race for 13th place. I'm riding as hard as I can and two years ago at this point I was fighting for podiums consistently. I'm not riding any slower, I've improved as a rider so from that side it's bad. I don't want to be fighting for 13th, I want to be fighting for victories.
I don't look at it as because we are both back there it is not us riders. We are here to promote Suzuki and do good things for them and part of our job is to develop the bike. Or give good information to the engineers so that they can develop it.
Q. But your job is also to be here for you, and to win, so does there come a point when you have to say enoughs enough?
CV: Suzuki gave me my break in MotoGP. I came here as a factory rider. I've had some very good times with them and I've had some bad times, but you are right my goal is to be world champion. I am looking to be on the best motorbike that is going to give me the chance to be world champion whether that's a Suzuki next year or another brand, I haven't made a decision on that yet. My goal is to win races for myself.
Q. Often you see with people's careers that they stick around for too long...
CV: I know what you mean. It looks like it from riders in the past with bikes that haven't been the best for sure and that is something I have really got to consider for next year. I can't afford to... well from my point of view I don't want to have another year like this year. I want to be fighting for podiums week-in, week-out not for the second last row of the grid.
Q. Does it make it harder to talk to other teams when you are having problems like this with the bike?
CV: I'm not sure... For sure it doesn't make it any easier. If you are standing on the podium every week, people see you there. But also people have to realise your situation and I think that people in the paddock that need to know, know. Things like who is on good equipment, who isn't and who is riding well and who isn't. I hope anyway!
Q. So what happens now, if there are no definite steps forward coming?
CV: Our next test is Brno. There is a bit of a break now. Our main Japanese boss, who I have got a lot of respect for, Shinichi Sahara, who was the head at the race track before he was promoted. He is very high up in the factory now. He has been working hard back there but we haven't seen him for a while. He is coming to Brno and I am hoping he is coming with a bag full of goodies for us to try.
Q. For Suzuki in particular it's as bad as it has been in the modern era isn't it?
CV: It's not good right now. Like I said before there are very small differences in our bike which I am frustrated about because I was hoping for a lot more to come, but we haven't been able to make the best out of the one-make tyre at the moment.
I believe that is the biggest difference we have got from last year, and I am going around Donington than last year. I also went slower around Laguna Seca. I went faster around Assen but that is a different type of track. So the bike seems to work for us in some places, but often it's not the case.
Q. Could a criticism be levelled at Suzuki that it is not trying to develop the bike?
CV: I don't think we are going backwards, I think others are developing faster. Competition-wise yes we are going backwards, but we are taking steps forward, just at a slower pace than other manufacturers.
Q. Is that because of money or other issues?
CV: I don't know. I'm not sure. There are some people that have moved back in to the factory in to some good positions that I really respect and I hope for good things from. But you expect things to change overnight at this level. I hope we get something soon.
Q. Does just having two bikes on the grid not help?
CV: Oh for sure that doesn't help. We are getting less information all the time. Take Donington, we had one day of rain and one day dry, and Honda had eight lots of information coming in tyre wear, suspension settings, engine performance, engine durability. So for sure having only two motorbikes out there does make it tougher for Suzuki.
Q. And with less testing now...
CV: It's really hard now. I know Suzuki have new engines in the pipeline for next year and I said 'When are we going to be using them?', because we have got a test in Valencia, then we have got all of November through to January off. Then we get six days testing.
Q. So you could argue that regulations introduced to bring the teams in could actually end up pushing them away? How does it affect new riders?
CV: Now with having three sessions and no testing, if someone is coming from superbikes that doesn't know the tracks, that's going to be hard work. It was tough my first year.
Q. That's not so much your problem though is it?
CV: No it's not but I want to make that championship fair you know. For sure the lack of testing is not bringing the racing closer that's one thing. I don't think the mono-tyre rule is either.