Chris Vermeulen has made his Kawasaki World Superbike debut behind closed doors after getting a belated opportunity to test the ZX-10R in Japan.
Former World Superbike runner-up Vermeulen makes his return to the series next season after penning a deal to front Kawasaki's campaign in 2010.
Having had his hopes of sampling the bike during the Portimao post-season tests scuppered by Rizla Suzuki's refusal to release him from his contract before the end of the 2009 MotoGP season, Vermeulen has instead been testing at the Autopolis circuit in Japan this week.
Treated as a shakedown for Vermeulen after four years riding MotoGP machinery, the Australian will be back on the bike at Cartagena soon.
"The test is just the first run out on the bike for Chris, it is not a big technical test,” confirmed Kawasaki team manager Paul Risbridger. “It is also his first chance to meet staff from KHI, and get the first impression of the bike, get a feel for the bike. Then we start our real winter test programme in Cartagena and after this test he should be straight on it."
Vermeulen's team-mate, Tom Sykes, tested the ZX-10R at Portimao.