Chris Vermeulen had his first outing on the new Kawasaki ZX-10R yesterday at the Sepang Circuit in Malaysia as the Kawasaki team started its 2011 pre-season testing schedule.Vermuelen, who was making his comeback after last season’s knee surgery, did a limited amount of laps, but came away impressed with the new bike.
“I eased into it today and only did a limited number of laps, over three separate runs,” the Australian said in a team release. “I stopped before lunch today and then the rains came later in the afternoon, but we will go out again tomorrow. The new bike feels really good. The last bike I rode around Sepang was a GP machine, so to be impressed with this motorbike already shows it is a very good start. All the guys have done a great job in developing it. I was happy to come away with that positive impression, even after a relatively short number of laps so far. Right now I cannot quite bend my knee enough when going round right-hand corners, but my knee has improved a lot over the last couple of weeks. Everything in the recovery of my knee is going to plan, and in fact I am quite a bit ahead of what the doctors expected. My muscle growth is good, particularly considering I have only been walking for three weeks.”Vermuelen’s teammates, Tom Sykes and Joan Lascorz, had never been to Sepang before and spent the majority of their first day of the test learning the circuit.