Chris Vermeulen will replace the injured Colin Edwards in the Forward Racing Team for the French Grand Prix at Le Mans.

Edwards, 38, broke his collarbone in a crash during qualifying for last weekend's Portuguese Grand Prix and has undergone surgery on the injury.

But it has been decided the Texan will not be fit enough to ride in France, with a return at the Catalan Grand Prix in Barcelona being targeted instead.

Edwards has not missed a MotoGP round since his debut in 2003, but his misfortune hands a chance to Australian Vermeulen.

Vermeulen raced in MotoGP for Suzuki between 2006 and 2009, claiming his only win at the 2007 French Grand Prix.

He said: "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.

"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."

Team managing director Marco Curioni added: "Several members of the team have previously worked with him and I believe that Chris will immediately find a good feeling with the team.

"Chris has previously 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."