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chris_vermeulenChris Vermeulen missed the majority of the 2010 season due to a knee injury. But now the Australian is back and ready for action. Vermeulen will put his knee to the test next week when the World Superbike riders take to the Phillip Island track for the final test before the start of the 2011 season.

“This is the longest time I have spent off a bike in my entire career,” said Vermeulen. “I really can’t wait to jump on the all-new Kawasaki ZX-10R and just start cutting some laps again. Of course, the number of laps I squeeze out at the Phillip Island test will depend on the condition of my knee.”

Vermeulen’s teammate Tom Sykes has been more than pleased with the new Ninja ZX-10R. Vermeulen got a chance to ride the ZX-10R as well last month, but his knee kept him from doing any extensive work.

“(My Knee) certainly has plenty of strength and stability now, but the biggest issue is I can’t bend it how I want to – or to the degree that racing at the highest level demands. And when I push the knee too hard I get swelling and pain in it. That’s why the test will be a delicate balancing act – I want to spend a lot of time on the bike to work on set-up, but I don’t want to push too hard and set back my recovery.”

Vermeulen wasn’t able to achieve the results in 2010, but Vermeulen has proven that he has what it takes to win at the Superbike level. In 2005, Vermeulen finished second in the series, and in 2003, he won the World Supersport title.

Vermeuelen will have a tough rode in 2011, but he is thankful for the support that he has received from Kawasaki.

“It’s certainly been frustrating, but to Kawasaki’s credit they haven’t been pushing me,” continued Vermeulen. “The company has told me it wants to finish top six in 2011 and then really push for the championship in 2012.”

Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

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