Chris Vermeulen is back home in Australia after participating in only one shortened day of riding during the Kawasaki WSBK test at Sepang this week. While the rest of the WSBK riders for both Paul Bird Racing and Team Pedercini will complete the scheduled test, Vermeulen was forced home to continue with his physical therapy.
He tweeted, “My knee reacted a bit after riding just a few laps, was fun back on a bike though!!” According to the team, Vermeulen will remain in Australia until the final Infront test at Phillip Island just before the season opener. He will miss the late January test in Portimao to concentrate on his recovery.
“After day one we all decided that he did not need to run on track any more at this stage and it was better for him to go home and carry on with his rehabilitation. We also came to a consensus that there was no point in him coming all the way back to Europe for the Portimao tests, as it would just interrupt his overall recovery. Riding the bike is not assisting his recuperation at this stage, so Chris will carry on with his very effective programme of physiotherapy and exercise so that he is ready when it matters most, at the start of the new season,” according to Team Manager Paul Risbridger.
Though Vermeulen is publicly said to be recovering faster than expected, he is still unable to fully flex his right knee. Just after that first day of testing, Vermeulen said, “Right now I cannot quite bend my knee enough when going round right hand corners, but my knee has improved a lot over the last couple of weeks. Everything in the recovery of my knee is going to plan, and in fact I am quite a bit ahead of what the doctors expected. My muscle growth is good.”
The rest of the many riders currently at Sepang for the Kawasaki WSBK testing effort will continue through the end of the week. Vermeulen’s teammates Joan Lascorz and Tom Sykes have been “setting good lap times and trying out several different set-up options” as expected, according to Kawasaki.
Source: Kawasaki Racing