Chris Vermeulen, one of the few riders to win both MotoGP and World Superbike races, has joined the Kawasaki World Superbike Racing Team for the 2010 season.
Currently racing in MotoGP, Vermeulen will soon apply his talents to the official WSB Ninja ZX-10R and will get his
first chance to ride the machine during tests in November.
“The Kawasaki World Superbike team structure has evolved well in this its first year being run by Paul Bird and his experienced crew. 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.
“Chris has the full backing of the factory next season and with the project we are creating now in WSB with Chris, then I believe we can be very competitive next year”, added Ichiro Yoda, Director of Kawasaki Motors Racing. “We will make improvements step-by-step and we have a heavy test schedule planned already in order to do just that. Chris' comments will be key to move the Ninja ZX-10R development in the right direction, so I'm very happy to be working with him.”
Vermeulen's career path after his initial successes in his native Australia saw him make his international breakthroughs in Asian and British Championships, with his first global success coming with ultimate victory in the 2003 World Supersport Championship.
A promotion to World Superbike in 2004 and 2005 culminated with the highly respected Vermeulen a close runner up in his second year on a 1000cc machine.
His subsequent move to MotoGP netted him a win at Le Mans and six other podium places in more recent times.
During his previous WSB career Chris secured 23 podiums, including 10 wins, from 45 starts. His immediate aim for Kawasaki is to expand those already impressive statistics. Still only 27 years old, Vermeulen is a highly experienced rider who brings with him a burning desire to succeed, and the proven talent to make an impact in WSB racing.
With the arrival of Chris in the team for 2010 the entire Kawasaki World Superbike Racing team would like to say thank you to Makoto Tamada for his sterling efforts in the past two years. Makoto will leave the Kawasaki WSB structure at the end of 2009 with the very best wishes of all the Kawasaki family following him in his future endeavours.