Valencia WSB: Vermeulen out, Andrews in at Kawasaki

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Chris Vermeulen will miss the third round of the WSB championship this weekend at Valencia due to the serious knee injury he sustained at Phillip Island at the beginning of March.

The 27 year old Australian crashed out of race two in Australia and was unable to complete more than a lap in Portimao two weeks ago due to pain and a lack of movement which forced him into surgery in an effort to get back to fitness.

"I had keyhole surgery on my right knee on Friday by a renowned surgeon called Dr Claes in Belgium.

"He cut out some damaged meniscus and tidied up some damaged ligaments and this should speed up the recovery time and help with gaining back more movement in my right knee.

"The knee will not be 100% even after this surgery because I have done some major damage to it after the Phillip Island crash but I do not have four to six months recovery time for a complete reconstruction which I will no doubt need later on.

"The major damage should not affect me on the bike once I have recovered from the small operation and I have more strength back in my leg.

"However I will have to change my training routine to include a lot more work on a bicycle and in a pool because I won't be able to run for some time.

"Unfortunately I missed last week's test at Valencia and will now miss the Valencia race also but at this stage I am working hard on being fit for Assen.

"I will be wishing the team the best of luck for this weekend.".

MSS Colchester Kawasaki BSB rider Simon Andrews will replace Vermeulen this weekend in Valencia. Andrews benefited from a two day test at Valencia last week and is clearly relishing the opportunity of performing on the world stage.

"I'm delighted to be given an opportunity to race for the Kawasaki Racing Team and am really looking forward to the weekend.

"I had a good test with the team recently and get on well with everyone so I'm confident of a good result as the bike is great.

"It's very flattering also to know that the team and factory are looking to me to help achieve some good results so I plan to reward them as best I can."

Andrews will join team regular Tom Sykes who is also upbeat about his chances of more strong points scoring results after his successful test at Valencia.

"Straight after the Portimao race we had a two-day test at Valencia where I did a lot of laps and tried a number of new things on the ZX-10R.

"We were happy enough with the test and have come away with further understanding of the bike and a good base setting for the race.

"We were a bit unlucky with the weather during the test as it was really windy and the track temperature was a bit cold, so lap times weren't so comparable to the race from last year, but we have continued to move forward and progress and I'm feeling very optimistic and positive about the weekend ahead.

"It's unfortunate that we will be missing Chris once again for this race but the team and I will be giving our best so we can hopefully claw back some valuable points."

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Michael Guy

By Michael Guy

Sports Editor, former 250-racer and adventure rider