News 11 Jan 2011

Vermeulen returns at Sepang test, Staring makes debut

Aussie Chris Vermeulen made his return to action on Kawasaki's all-new ZX-10R at Sepang on Monday.

Aussie Chris Vermeulen made his return to action on Kawasaki's all-new ZX-10R at Sepang on Monday.

Queenslander Chris Vermeulen had his first taste of the 2011 Ninja ZX-10R as he made his comeback ride on Monday at Sepang in Malaysia after recuperating from knee surgery.

Unlike his teammates Tom Sykes and Joan Lascorz, Vermeulen had never ridden the new bike before today and was instantly impressed with it, despite setting a limited number of laps.

“I eased into it today and only did a limited number of laps, over three separate runs,” Vermeulen commented. “I stopped before lunch today and then the rains came later in the afternoon, but we will go out again tomorrow.

“The new bike feels really good. The last bike I rode around Sepang was a GP machine, so to be impressed with this motorbike already shows it is a very good start. All the guys have done a great job in developing it.

“I was happy to come away with that positive impression, even after a relatively short number of laps so far. 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, particularly considering I have only been walking for three weeks.”

This was a first ride in Malaysia for Sykes and Lascorz, although Vermeulen has ridden at Sepang on many previous occasions.

Sykes and Lascorz used the first day to familiarize themselves with the wide and comparatively long circuit in the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, and find base settings to work with for the rest of the tests.

Also joining the three works KRT riders in Sepang Aussie Superbike Champion Bryan Staring’s Pedercini Kawasaki Team, who will be using the opportunity to learn more from the factory team’s experience with the new Ninja ZX-10R.

Staring was only able to complete a limited number of laps on Monday in what was his maiden outing with the Pedercini team.

The crews will continue on track today, take a break for a day on Wednesday and then complete their final tests on Thursday and Friday.