Australian Chris Vermeulen didn’t have the easiest of seasons. Since his return to World Superbikes, he got badly injured on his knee. An injury that has been plaguing the last 2 seasons. Determined to come back stronger, Vermeulen is working hard to get fit for the remainder of the 2011 season.
With a career as long as that of Vermeulen, it is a miracle he is known as a title contender when he is fit. His sheer talent shined through from the early days, as legend Barry Sheene was mentoring the young Australian. After a successful time riding in the Australian and British championships, Vermeulen made his debut with the Castrol Honda World Supersport team.
When pairing with the Ten Kate Honda team in 2002 the Australian rider results improved and several podiums, poles and victories followed before snatching the 2003 World Supersport title.
A move to the World Superbike class followed, before making his MotoGP debut in 2006. In the seasons that followed, Vermeulen was able to get one victory on the factory Suzuki and several podiums. After a though 2009 season, he made his return to the World Superbike scene with Kawasaki Racing.
You are recovering from injuries, does that affect the motivation to keep racing?
My motivation is as strong, if not stronger, than ever before. I love racing motorcycles and the goal is to continue doing this for as long as possible.
You didn’t race at your home race this year, is it harder to miss out on that one?
To me, it is no different from any other race. I didn’t stay for the races and watched them from the comfort of my home. My crew are still going to the races to help develop the bikes. This important for the whole team, and will help when I come back.
How’s your revalidation going at the moment?
I am getting better. I’m not sure how fit I will be for the races in America, but I’m sure to be stronger by the summer break in August.
What are the goals for the rest of the season?
The goal is to get fit and have a good come back. I want to get back on the podium with Kawasaki.
How famous are you in Australia, did winning the World Supersport title in 2003 and a lengthy career in MotoGP make you a celebrity?
Yes, I have a big following here in Australia for a motorcycle racer. I get a lot of support, which is great to me and also to promote the sport as a whole.
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