Vermeulen Signs Kawasaki Deal in World Superbike

Following 250cc title contender Alvaro Bautista signing a deal with Suzuki for the upcoming MotoGP season, it was quite obvious Australian Chris Vermeulen would have to find another racing spot for 2010. The news was confirmed shortly after Bautista's announcement, as the team revealed Loris Capirossi had also extended his deal for 2010.

Under the circumstances – considering that most of the teams had already settled their lineups for the upcoming season – Vermeulen's only chance of continuing his career in a competitive series was to land a job in the World Superbike Championship. After a couple of weeks of searching, the Aussie today confirmed he will return in the WSBK with Kawasaki.

I was hoping to get a ride on the bike at the Portimao tests after the race there but my current team does not want to release me from my current contract until the GP season is finished, which is completely understandable. So my first ride should be at Autopolis in Japan on 18th and 19th November,” said Vermeulen earlier today.

The World Superbike season will end 3 weeks from now, with the season finale at Portimao, after which the first pre-season tests for 2010 will get under way at the same Portuguese track. However, with the MotoGP calendar having its last race on November 8th, Vermeulen is still bound to his commitment with Suzuki until that date.

For next year we realise that we need to make another step forward to be competitive at WSB level and we believe Chris could be the key to this. It's an understatement to say we are looking forward to next season now, we just can't wait!” commented Steve Guttridge, Kawasaki European Race Planning Manager.

Vermeulen used to run in the World Superbike from 2004 until the end of 2005, scoring an impressive number of wins in the process. If his 4 wins at debut got him an incredible 4th place in his rookie season, the other 6 wins in 2005 brought him a runner-up spot in the series. At the end of that season, he signed a deal in the MotoGP with Suzuki.
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