Motorland Aragon will host a private test for the factory Kawasaki and BMW Motorrad Italia World Superbike teams Thursday and Friday this week. Though Kawasaki had a good bit of winter testing both at the official WSBK test in Portugal and private testing in Sepang, the Italian BMW team suffered the effects of inclement weather and lost testing time. This private test comes just one week before the World Superbike season resumes at Donington Park in England, whose improvements have recently been approved by the FIM.
Importantly for Kawasaki, Chris Vermeulen is expected to test in Spain. After injuries and surgery kept him out of much of the 2010 season, the Australian hoped to return at his home round but was unable to pass the physical. He sat out testing and racing in Australia, remaining at home and working on his physical therapy.
This extra test will provide valuable information for Vermeulen and Paul Bird Racing as to the Australian’s fitness and ability to properly ride the bike. Vermeulen, who can be found on Twitter, is already in Barcelona, has seen a doctor there, and says his “knee is going really well.” He will be joined by teammates Joan Lascorz and Tom Sykes at Aragon.
For BMW Italia, this testing gives James Toseland and Ayrton Badovini the ability to give their team more feedback and better develop their bikes. Neither performed as well as they hoped at Phillip Island, though Toseland fought near the front for a time in Race 2. Each had a 14th place finish, while Badovini did not complete Race 1.
Also, testing at Aragon gives both teams some time running at brand new circuit for the 2011 WSBK season, as Aragon has replaced Valencia as the Spanish host of WSBK racing for this season. Of all the WSBK riders, only factory Yamaha rider Marco Melandri has raced at Aragon, which he did last season in MotoGP.