Thursday, October 2, 2008

Little Penguins Have a New Friend

12:00a.m. 3rd October 2008
Feathered friends

MotoGP ace Chris Vermeulen has seen plenty of the Phillip Island racetrack and this week he had a close-up look at the island’s most famous residents.

He left his Suzuki trackside and went back to nature with the rangers of Phillip Island Nature Park ahead of the real business of starting practice for the Australian Grand Prix.

Along with penguin ranger Leanne Renwick, Chris got his hands dirty by searching through burrows as part of the island’s penguin research.

They nabbed one of the fairy penguins and then released it back into its burrow.

Chris will be hoping he can move much faster than his new furry friend when the round of the MotoGP world championship is staged this weekend and he tries to repeat his podium finish of two years ago.

“I’m really looking forward to my home grand prix,” he said.

“The support of the Aussie crowd is going to be great.

“In the last couple of years, we haven’t been particularly fast there, but we’ve come away with some good results.

“I really think we will have a good chance there to challenge towards the front and I would really love to be on the podium again in front of my home crowd.”

Sunday’s 27-lap race is round 16 of the season and the Yandina rider will be trying to move up from seventh place on the championship standings.

Story courtesy of The @

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