Vermeulen May Not Race at Donington Park

03/25/2011 @ 8:33 am, by Victoria Reid8 COMMENTS

The saga of rehabilitating Chris Vermeulen’s knee continues this weekend at the second round of the World Superbike season. The Australian will participate in the practice and qualifying sessions beginning Friday at Donington Park, but he may sit out the races on Sunday.

This news comes after Vermeulen missed the season opener and winter testing at Phillip Island because his knee has not recovered as quickly as planned, and it was hoped that skipping his home race would allow Vermeulen time to recover enough to race the rest of this season, but it seems the Australian and his factory Kawasaki team are taking this weekend one session at a time.

The former MotoGP rider spent some time testing at Motorland Aragon in Spain last week (where compatriot James Toseland fractured his wrist, forcing him to sit out this WSBK weekend) and just yesterday spent some more time on the seat riding around Cadwell Park. After this most recent outing, Vermeulen tweeted, “was great to get back on the bike but still work to do on my knee to be race fit.”

Currently, Vermeulen and Paul Bird Racing are not too optimistic about the chances of actually racing this weekend. Vermeulen said Thursday, “We have decided to ride this weekend but to look at it as a test; not only for my knee but to get some information on the bike, to ride the new generation Pirellis and just get out there on track and see how it goes. If it goes well we will race, but at this stage races may be quite difficult.”

Vermeulen also noted, “From my doctor’s point of view I am improving well, but I should just be increasing my riding step-by-step. I rode yesterday at Cadwell Park in England, did about 30 laps in total on the Ninja ZX-10R, and it felt really good. My speed was OK but I was not going to break any lap records. My knee started to swell up afterwards so we rested it up.”

According to the team, Vermeulen will compete completely at Assen and will be fully competitive by Monza in early May, though the tenor of his personal tweets seem to be far less enthusiastic than earlier in his recovery. Vermeulen had joined the team for winter testing in Sepang, but returned to Australia after less than a day on the bike. Both of Vermeulen’s teammates, Joan Lascorz and Tom Sykes, have participated in all of the team’s tests and are fully fit for racing.

Source: Kawasaki Racing

  • JR

    Chris Vermeulen is not a “compatriot” of James Toseland. Vermeulen is Australian and Toseland is British.

    I feel for Chris, but it looks like he should have taken a season off and rehabbed his body to 100% health. His team deserves better than this. No blaming Chris, though – he’s a racer, and his team should have had him medically cleared.

  • Dammit. Just when we are getting some good news about Chris, it all takes a step backwards. Dont want him to rush it or anything, but we’ve (CV7 fans) been waiting to Chris twist that throttle in anger for ages now. Bastard knee, you need a good stiff talking to m’boy!!!

  • Victoria Reid

    JR, I know that Vermeulen and Toseland are not countrymen and simply meant “compatriot’ in the sense that both are former MotoGP riders who have now missed their home WSBK rounds.
    Thanks for keeping us honest, though :-)

  • Westward

    Oh, compatriot in the loose sense. I get it now…

  • JR

    Ha, I had no idea compatriot could be used that way, but whaddya know. Learn something new every day…

  • I’m still docking Victoria’s pay because of it.

  • would that be the pay I don’t receive or the check that is always “in the mail?”

  • SBPilot

    I think CV is a talented rider, rode the dreadful GSV-R better than almost anyone in recent years. It’s a shame about his knee. It’s evident his knee requires serious time to heal and causes major problems for his riding. Even so it’s nice to see that he’s “only” 3 seconds off the top guys so far at Donnington. 3 seconds is a lot but for a new bike and a rider who’s barely ridden at all compared to the others, I think it’s on par.