Following the World Superbike race one crash incident at Brno this weekend, Kawasaki Racing Team SBK rider Chris Vermeulen suffered further damage to his already injured right knee.
Chris was looking to make-up for a fifth row (18th position) grid start but got tangled in a three rider crash on lap one of race one. He fell in a high-speed accident, hurting his old right knee injury. He gamely fought back to start race two, but retired on the second lap.
This was after Vermeulen could not get the ultimate edge grip he desired in qualifying. He knows the Brno circuit well from his recent MotoGP experiences but that experience was not enough to keep him out of trouble.
Chris Vermeulen says: “We’ve had a real struggle here in Brno this weekend. We made up a little bit of pace during practices but like everyone else here we had problems with edge grip. Having to start on fifth row makes life difficult and I got caught up in a rider tangle on turn one and was whipped out of the race.”
“I was optimistic about starting race two but I just could not continue after two laps due to the pain in my damaged right knee. I am obviously extremely disappointed and frustrated with my knee injury, which is holding me back.”
The original injury was sustained in Philip Island at the first round of the Hannspree World Superbike Championship and although Chris returned to the team at the Assen race in April, his recovery has been very slow due to the severe ligament damage sustained.
The latest motorcycle racing crash damage has set back the recovery process and has reopened the question of whether reconstructive surgery is required to enable Chris to regain full use and control of the knee.
As a result Chris will be suspending his WSBK race and test activities from the World Superbike Championship so that immediate corrective medical treatment can be sought without delay.
Vermeulen is now focused on a return to full fitness in preparation for the 2011 Kawasaki Racing Team season, which includes riding the eagerly awaited 2011 Ninja ZX-10R World Superbike (due to be released in the next few months).
We wish Chris well with his recovery, a healthy return to the 2011 World SBK championship and will issue further details when available.