Vermeulen to Race at Donington Park

Chris_Vermeulen_bioIt’s been a little while since Chris Vermeulen has been on a competitive motorcycle. Vermeulen tried to make his return at the opening round of the 2011 World Superbike season, but didn’t feel like he was fit enough to compete. Now that another month has gone by, Vermeulen says that he is ready for action.

Vermeulen, a former World Supersport Champion, hasn’t raced since last year’s World Superbike race at BRNO. Vermeulen had surgery on his knee over the summer, and has been working ever since to get his health back up to 100%.

Vermeulen, and the Paul Bird Motorsports Team feel that Vermeulen is now ready to get back out and race.

“It’s great to welcome Chris back into the team and hopefully he can give a good account of himself now he’s back to somewhere near full fitness,” said Team Owner Paul Bird. “This is an important race for the team and I’m expecting all three riders to be strong this weekend, there should be no excuses. We all have good memories of Donington Park over the years and this is our best shot in ages so we’re looking to be at the cutting edge as we know this bike is good enough.”

Vermeulen will join his teammates Tom Sykes and Joan Lascorz at the Donington Park track for the second round of the 2011 World Superbike season.

Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

Fabrizio Ready For Donington

fabrizio-set-for-doningtonTeam Suzuki Alstare’s Michel Fabrizio is looking forward to this weekend’s World Superbike Championship second round at Donington Park in England, as last time he raced at the circuit in 2009, he finished on the podium.

The 4.023 kilometer (2.49 mile) circuit has been slightly revamped since 2009, but remains essentially a flowing circuit, with a few stop-start sections that require heavy braking. The circuit was the scene of the first ever WSBK race in April 1988 and 34 races have taken place at this popular venue so far.

Michel Fabrizio:

“The last time we raced at Donington, I finished with a podium in race two, so my memories of it are pretty good. I understand that the track has been modified a bit since then, so we will all be starting off learning about the changes and what effects they have on getting a good set-up. Most of the track is pretty flowing, but there are couple of places where you have to be really hard on the brakes and that is why a good set-up and well-balanced bike is vital.

“A lot of people seemed to be unduly concerned about how the weather may be at this time of the year, but the last race in Australia wasn’t as good as we all expected, so Donington might be OK. Whatever the weather is, it will be the same for everybody and if it happens to be cold and wet, then that’s how it’s going be and I and the others just have to get on with it. On the other hand, it may turn out to be a fine, Spring day and everybody will be happy – especially the fans.

“British fans are always very enthusiastic about their racing and I hope that the weather is OK and we get a good crowd. I am feeling very positive about Donington and will be aiming for a good practice, qualifying and Superpole and then another great Donington podium.”

Donington Park Recent Race Results

2010: No race
2009: Race 1: Ben Spies (USA-Yamaha), 2 Max Biaggi (ITA-Aprilia), 3 Noriyuki Haga (JPN-Ducati). 12 Michel Fabrizio (ITA-Ducati).

Race 2: 1 Spies, 2 Leon Haslam (GBR-Honda), 3 Michel Fabrizio (ITA-Ducati).

[Press Release and Photo Courtesy of Suzuki Racing]

And They’re Off… World Superbike Begins at Phillip Island

castrol_Honda_Phillip_IslandCarlos Checa had a fantastic pre-season, and all of his hard work is showing at opening day of the 2011 World Superbike season at Phillip Island. Checa topped the time sheets during the free practice session, but was also able to lead the WSBK around the track during the opening qualifying session.

Checa earned a 1’31.577 lap time today at Phillip Island, .27 seconds ahead of his closest competitor, Sylvain Guintoli.

“Today we worked on the tires and tomorrow morning we will have other things to try,” Checa said. “But I have to admit, I’m feeling very confident right now.”

Eugene Laverty also had an impressive qualifying session at Phillip Island. Laverty was the final rider to break the 1’32 barrier, finishing in third behind Guintoli.

2010 champion Max Biaggi earned a fourth place finish during qualifying, finishing nearly a half second behind Checa.

All of the major manufacturers had a rider in the top ten during the first qualifying session. Ducati claimed the top two spots, but Yamaha, Aprilia, BMW, Suzuki, Kawasaki, and Honda were all represented in the top 10.

World Superbike – Philip Island – 1st Qualifying Results

  1. Carlos Checa (Althea Racing) 1’31.577
  2. Sylvain Guintoli (Team Effenbert-Liberty Racing) 1’31.850
  3. Eugene Laverty (Yamaha World Superbike Team) 1’31.969
  4. Max Biaggi (Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team) 1’32.009
  5. Jakub Smrz (Team Effenbert-Liberty Racing) 1’32.066
  6. Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) 1’32.082
  7. Michel Fabrizio (Team Suzuki Alstare) 1’32.108
  8. Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki Racing Team) 1’32.163
  9. Jonathan Rea (Castrol Honda) 1’32.424
  10. Joshua Waters (Yoshimura Suzuki Racing Team) 1’32.690

Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

Checa Sets Pace During Day 1 of WSBK Test

carlos_checaThe final testing session before the 2011 World Superbike season got underway today at Phillip Island, and it was Althea Racing’s Carlos Checa who set the pace for the rest of the WSBK grid. Checa set a 1’31.3 time around the Phillip Island track, finishing nearly a second ahead of Sylvain Guintoli and Jakub Smrz.

After a wet morning session, the World Superbike riders got some sun in the afternoon and were able to put in a some solid laps. A flock of geese settled near the track toward the end of the session, which caused the red flags to come out three times, as the race director feared that the geese could endanger the riders.

“We’re very happy with today’s results but this is only the beginning and I hope we can make further progress tomorrow, weather depending. This morning we took it easy, seeing as the track was damp and this in the afternoon session I began to push. We worked hard today, trying different set-ups and making modification to my seat position. I’m feeling confident, we’ll see how tomorrow goes but I’d day that we’ll be ready for this weekend’s races.”

Reigning champ Max Biaggi sat out the morning session, but was able to put in some good laps in the afternoon. Biaggi finished fourth for the day, behind a podium of Ducati bikes with Checa, Guintoli, and Smrz.

In the World Supersport division, Fabien Foret was able to take the top honors today. Foret, Ten Kate Honda, finished more than a second over Kawasaki’s David Salom and Broc Parkes.

World Superbike – Phillip Island Test – Day 1

  1. Carlos Checa (Ducati) 1’31.3
  2. Guintoli (Ducati) 1’32.3
  3. Smrz (Ducati) 1’32.3
  4. Biaggi (Aprilia) 1’32.3
  5. Fabrizio (Suzuki) 1’32.4
  6. Sykes (Kawasaki) 1’32.4
  7. Melandri (Yamaha) 1’32.4
  8. Rea (Honda) 1’32.5

Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

Vermeulen to Miss Opening Round of World Superbike Season

wsbk_chris_vermeulenChris Vermeulen has been optimistic about the condition of his knee, but he will not be racing at the 2011 World Superbike season opener at Phillip Island on February 27th. The Kawasaki Racing Team announced today that Vermeulen will not be participating in the upcoming testing session or the opening round of the World Superbike season.

The good news is that after the Australia round, the World Superbike riders will have a month break before round two at Donnington Park. The Kawasaki racing team and Vermeulen have decided not to risk the condition of Vermeuelen’s recovering knee in Australia in order to make sure that he is 100% for the rest of the season.

“We decided as a team that the best thing was not race or test here at Phillip Island,” Vermeulen said. “It is unfortunate because it is my home round and I have gone through such a long recovery already. It would have been nice to start off the season fit and strong but we did not want to risk any further damage to my knee. Just as importantly, I am not fit enough to compete at the top level yet so it is better to not ride at the moment. My knee is improving and the recovery is going as planned, so hopefully by Donington I will be ready to race again. I have nearly five weeks from now to get ready for that round.”

Vermeulen has been testing with the World Superbike riders, but says that he still doesn’t have full mobility on his knee.

Akira Yanagawa will ride in Vermeulen’s place. The Kawasaki Racing Team will also have regular riders Tom Sykes and Joan Lascorz racing at Phillip Island.

Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com