Chris Vermeulen's crash at his home World Superbike round at Phillip Island is having more serious consequences than he at first thought. The PBM Kawasaki rider badly damaged his knee in the incident, and has faced a long road to recovery ever since. Vermeulen's plans to make a return at Portimao were thwarted after just one lap, after the Australian tried to ride, but found he couldn't put any weight on the pegs. He pulled back into the pits after one lap and pulled out.
With just two weeks between Portimao and Valencia, the Australian had hoped to return to racing in Spain, but after consulting with doctors recommended by former Motocross World Champions Joel Smets and Stefan Everts, Vermeulen has been forced to pull out of Valencia as well. In a video posted on his Youtube channel, Vermeulen explained that the arthroscopic surgery Vermeulen had performed turned up a lot more damage than had been previously spotted, ruling out any chance of racing at Valencia. So serious is the damage that it is likely to require major surgery to repair fully, which Vermeulen hopes to put off until he finishes racing. But the Australian still has high hopes that the damage will repair itself naturally.
There is no official word as to who will replace Vermeulen at Valencia, but after BSB rider Simon Andrews set some impressive times during testing at Valencia last week, Andrews is expected to get the nod to take Vermeulen's place for the race.
Here's Vermeulen explaining his knee surgery situation himself: