2011 World SuperbikeIt’s been a long recovery for Chris Vermeulen since a crash tore up his knee at the opening round of the 2010 World Superbike season in Phillip Island. But although the crash at his native Australian track was almost a year ago, the 28-year-old WSBK rider continues to encounter issues with his knee.
Things were looking promising for Vermeulen to start the 2011 World Superbike Championship at Phillip Island this coming Sunday, but Fox Sports in Australia recently reported that Vermeulen will miss the season opener.It was also reported that Vermeulen will miss the final round of pre-season tests at Phillip Island this Monday and Tuesday. Vermeulen will continue an intense physiotherapy and exercise regime to allow him to recover full flex in his right knee joint before taking the all-new Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R on track again. If the results are positive, Vermeulen may compete at the second round of 13 at Donington Park in four-weeks time.Chris Vermeulen says: “We decided as a team that the best thing was not race or test here at Phillip Island. It is unfortunate because it is my home round and I have gone through such a long recovery already. It would have been nice to start off the season fit and strong but we did not want to risk any further damage to my knee. "Just as importantly, I am not fit enough to compete at the top level yet so it is better to not ride at the moment. My knee is improving and the recovery is going to plan, so hopefully by Donington I will be ready to race again. I have nearly five weeks from now to get ready for that round."Akira Yanagawa will replace Vermeulen for the Phillip Island tests and the team will concentrate their full efforts for race weekend on Chris’s fellow regular KRT riders, Tom Sykes and Joan Lascorz.During his first outing on the 2011 Paul Bird Kawasaki ZX-10R in early January at Sepang, Vermeulen only rode the new Ninja for a few laps. Vermeulen then missed the rest of the pre-season session to continue training in hopes of being fully fit for the opening round at Phillip Island. As for 2010 after damaging the knee at race 2 in Phillip Island, Vermeulen missed the subsequent two rounds. He returned at Assen, and but would further injury his knee during a crash at Round 9 in Brno. He then missed the rest of the 2010 World Superbike season.