News 5 May 2010

WSBK: Australians hope for return to form at Monza round

Vermeulen will be hopiong for a return to fitness this weekend at Monza.

Vermeulen will be hopiong for a return to fitness this weekend at Monza.

Australians Chris Vermeulen and Broc Parkes will be hoping to bounce back to form at this weekend’s Monza round of the Superbike World Championship in Italy, the pair fighting to regain fitness after an injury-filled start to the season.

Having been forced to miss some 2010 races due to a troublesome knee injury, Kawasaki Racing Team’s Vermeulen is all ready for his latest challenge at a circuit he holds dear. The Queenslander won there in 2005 in his final season of WSBK before embarking on a stint in MotoGP.

“I’m really looking forward to the Monza event as it’s an exciting race and a special circuit, partly because it is so fast,” Vermeulen commented. “It will be great to race there again, this time on the Kawasaki. The last time was 2005 and I had a win so it’s a positive circuit for me, with good memories and results.

“As for my knee, I’m still not 100 percent but I’m working hard on it and it’s improving each day. I still have some difficulties with movement but for sure it will be an improvement from Assen. I’m looking forward to jumping on the bike and seeing what Monza brings to us.”

ECHO CRS Honda’s Parkes is about to face his second WSBK race weekend of the year, having missed the first three rounds due to a right tibia fracture, suffered in winter training.

Parkes’ comeback at Assen was affected by the last remnants of his injury, so he is looking forward to greater fitness and a better technical package when he gets to the super-fast Monza circuit.

“Assen was a little bit early to come back because my leg was still not 100 percent but I am glad I did because we found a few problems with the set-up, especially with chatter, that I had to give feedback about before the fly aways to South Africa and America,” Parkes explained. “I have been talking a lot with the team and I am going to visit them and the engine tuners in Italy before Monza to try and sort out the direction we are going with the bike.”

Meanwhile, it’s yet to be confirmed if Andrew Pitt’s Reitwagen Racing BMW team will return to the fold this weekend after sitting out the Assen round with funding issues.