Chris Vermeulen

I lived most of my life at Yandina, where my family own the bakery. My dad loved riding and racing bikes and bought me my first motor bike, a Yamaha Pee Wee 50, as a present for my first birthday. I would hound dad to take me riding every day and he’d sit on the back of the bike and teach how to ride and use the controls.

When dad was at work, I would rip around on my pushy and when I was about two and a half years old, I could ride it well enough to take the training wheels off. On that same day, I rode my motor bike solo for the first time. By the time I was three, I wanted to ride trials bikes like my dad and I was convinced I would one day enter trials competitions.

At six years of age I started to race BMX and although I loved it, I pretty soon figured out that it would be heaps more fun with a motor instead of pedal power, a concept that took my mum about 5 years to agree with. The pinnacle of my BMX career was to finish second in the Queensland BMX Championship in 1992.

Although I had trials bikes all through this period, my real conversion from BMX to motor bike racing really happened when with mum and dad took me to a Christmas party at the local Kawasaki dealership in Nambour and I spent the whole time drooling and climbing all over the then new KX 60.

I had to have it and my powers of persuasion worked overtime until I was able to convince mum and dad to allow me to sell my trials bike and put the money toward my first motocross bike, a brand new KX60

My first ever motor bike racing experience was at a local country track at Kilcoy, where I competed in motocross and dirt track on the same day. I can’t remember how I went, but I do remember loving every minute of it.

After that day, it was hard to get me off the bike and I practiced around the paddocks at home from dawn till dark. I continued racing both motocross and dirt track, but enjoyed dirt track racing more, because I loved the speed. During those dirt track years, I won ??? state titles and was second to Broc Parkes in 4 Australian titles.

Road racing was always something that intrigued me. My whole family would watch the grand prix and world superbike races, cheering on our heroes, Gardner and Doohan. I would sit there and quietly dream and scheme about how I would do that myself one day. The need for speed was taking over.

Mum and dad bought me an old 125 grand prix bike, but I was too young to race and could only practice. I was fifteen and busting to become sixteen so I could start racing, when the first junior road racing class for fourteen to sixteen year olds was introduced. I jumped straight into it and once again, mum and dad sprung for a bike, a Moriwaki 80cc. I raced it twice in the juniors before I turned 16 and won both times.

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