Chris Vermeulen signs Kawasaki World Superbike deal

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Aussie Chris Vermeulen has signed a two-year deal to ride for Kawasaki in the 2010 World Superbike championship. As was widely expected, the current factory Suzuki rider penned his deal in Estoril today at the start of the Portuguese MotoGP clash. Vermeulen met Kawasaki boss Ichiro Yoda in Estoril last night to finalise details of his contract that will see him ride for Paul Bird in 2010 and 2011.

The former World Superbike runner-up and World Supersport champion said: “It’s a really good deal and I’m excited about joining Kawasaki from the technical point of view, to race and develop the bike next year an then go out on the new bike for 2011.”

Asked what had convinced to sign for Kawasaki when he held talks with Tech 3 Yamaha and Pramac Ducati in MotoGP and Aprilia, Yamaha and Suzuki in World Superbikes, Vermeulen added:

“WSB is going to be their main project, they are pulling out of MotoGP and they will not be running an AMA team nor a team in the Australian SBK championship – this WSB program is where all their engineers and budget will be focussed. They haven’t won in WSB for a long time and they really want to win races.

The financial backing and resources is very good for this project.” Vermeulen is the second high profile rider to confirm a return to World Superbikes this week following confirmation that James Toseland will move to Yamaha after being dropped by the Tech 3 MotoGP squad in favour of Ben Spies.

An official announcement is expected shortly.

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt