Chris Vermeulen has been named as the replacement for Colin Edwards in the NGM Mobile Forward Racing team for the Le Mans round of MotoGP.
Press releases from the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after qualifying on Saturday at the Motorland Aragon ciruit near Alcañiz in Spain:
The debate has been rumbling under the surface for some time, but at Jerez it finally burst to the surface. It emerged that Marco Simoncelli and Valentino Rossi had submitted an informal proposal to the Safety Commission to examine having a combined minimum weight for both bike and rider in MotoGP, just as there currently is in the 125cc class. Their argument was that lighter riders had an unfair advantage, and that by setting a minimum weight, the larger riders would have a better chance of competing.
The main advantage, it was said, was one of fuel consumption, especially since the introduction of the 800cc bikes, which also saw the fuel limit reduced to just 21 liters. Nicky Hayden related that while he was at Honda, his was forced to run a much leaner setup than his erstwhile teammate, Dani Pedrosa. Rossi agreed with Hayden's assessment, but admitted that taller riders did have more leverage over the machines.
The first of the team previews for the Assen round of World Superbikes, including news that Chris Vermeulen is to make another attempt at racing for the Kawasaki team:
As we reported earlier, Kawasaki's Chris Vermeulen has been forced to skip both the test at Phillip Island and the World Superbike season opener which follows this upcoming weekend. The problem is Vermeulen's knee, which he damaged in two crashes last year, and which is preventing him from being able to bend his knee sufficiently to ride the bike properly. Vermeulen posted a video on his Youtube channel explaining his decision not to ride, but pronouncing himself hopeful that he will be back at Donington and Assen. Here's what he had to say:
The huge crash Chris Vermeulen suffered during race 2 of last year's World Superbike opener at Phillip Island has had a major impact on his career. The crash caused severe damage to Vermeulen's knee, and the Australian has had problems ever since, eventually opting to have surgery in the middle of the 2010 season, forcing him to miss the rest of the season while recovering from the operation.
But Vermeulen's problems are not yet over. The former World Supersport champion has struggled during testing with the Paul Bird Kawasaki squad, managing to ride for just one day at Sepang before pain and swelling in his knee forced Vermeulen to pull out of the test. Vermeulen is still unable to bend his knee sufficiently to sit comfortably on the bike, despite intense physiotherapy to try to help the problem.
With the World Superbike paddock mostly reassembled at Aragon, for the three-day WSBK test there, the teams are taking the opportunity to make any announcements which they still have outstanding. Most of those - such as the announcement earlier that James Toseland would be riding for the BMW Italia team - are merely confirmation of news which had leaked out earlier, and the press release from the factory-supported Kawasaki WSBK and WSS teams was no exception.
In it, Kawasaki confirmed that they will be running three riders in the PBM Kawasaki squad, with Spaniard Joan Lascorz joining 2010 riders Tom Sykes and Chris Vermeulen for 2011. Lascorz was outstanding all year in World Supersport until his season-ending crash at Silverstone, but his early performance was good enough to earn promotion to World Superbikes.
PBM Kawasaki's Chris Vermeulen has released another chapter in his personal video reports from the racing. In Saturday's episode, Vermeulen talks about how his leg is healing, how Superpole went and what happened during his very nasty looking crash.