Donington Superbike: Vermeulen Returns

2011 World Superbike

Kawasaki Racing's Chris Vermeulen is expected to return at Donington Park this weekend, which will be the first time he competed since the 2010 Czech Republic round of World Superbike at Brno.

Vermuelen, 28, injured his knee last season during a crash at Phillip Island. He returned to racing, but the injury got worse. He the underwent complex surgery, and missed the final four races in 2010 and the opening 2011 round at Phillip Island due to not being able to flex his knee 100 percent.

But the Australian is ready to return this weekend at Donington on the Paul Bird Motorsport Kawasaki ZX-10R, the 2003 World Supersport Champion hoping for good results on a track he knows well due to British Championship experience.

Paul Bird (Kawasaki Team Owner) says: "It's great to welcome Chris back into the team and hopefully he can give a good account of himself now he's back to somewhere near full fitness.

"This is an important race for the team and I'm expecting all three riders to be strong this weekend, there should be no excuses. We all have good memories of Donington Park over the years and this is our best shot in ages so we're looking to be at the cutting edge as we know this bike is good enough."

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. But the injury would prevent him from starting at his home race.

After damaging his knee at race 2 in Phillip Island last year, 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.