Suzuki has confirmed that Chris Vermeulen will leave the team at the end of the season, after announcing officially that Loris Capirossi has signed a one-year extension to his contract.
Vermeulen has struggled to make the GSV-R work this season on the one-tire-rule Bridgestones, and has been linked with a switch to Tech 3 or a return to the World Superbike Championship. The 2007 French Grand Prix winner will be replaced by 250cc front runner Alvaro Bautista.
"This announcement confirms that Suzuki and Chris Vermeulen will not be working together in 2010," said team boss Paul Denning. "On behalf of Suzuki Motor Corporation and the whole team, including title sponsor Rizla, I want to wish Chris the best of luck in his future career.
"He has been a great asset to us and a true professional at all times – even when things have not quite gone to plan. We have had some amazing high-points with Chris – taking Suzuki's first four-stroke grand prix win at Le Mans in 2007 being the obvious highlight. We hope that he continues to have success throughout his career and trust that Chris, Toni and his family will always remain friends of the team."
Denning added that Capirossi would be the perfect foil to Bautista in 2010.
"Loris brings so much character, bravery and experience to Suzuki, and his technical input is invaluable," he said. "He still has an enormous drive and determination to succeed – we now have to react to his requests and give him the tools to be as competitive as possible.
"We hope that Loris, with the youthful exuberance of Alvaro alongside him next season, will be a good partnership. Loris is a great teammate but certainly won't want to be beaten by the younger guy, so I am sure he will be fighting hard."