After making a brief Kawasaki debut in Japan last month, returning World Superbike star Chris Vermeulen got solid track time under his belt during a two-day test at Cartagena, in Spain.
The former MotoGP race winner used the test to become acquainted with the 2010-spec ZX-10R and also work with his full technical team for the first time.
“It was all good and our first real time on the bike to get familiar with it. It was also the first time working with the mechanics and engineers from the team. That side also went well; the team seemed to gel and they are all excited about the future. They are all good guys,” said the 2005 WSBK runner-up.
“Lap time wise, according to most people, we did reasonably well, but we were not trying to go fast,” he continued. “We were just making changes on the bike and understanding how it was going to react to those changes. Electronics, suspension, chassis and engine, all that kind of stuff.”
Vermeulen's task was further complicated by the fact that he had never tested at Cartagena.
“I had never been there before, not even in my BSB days, so it was another new thing to learn,” confirmed the Australian. “There were only three bikes going around so we maybe didn't get the track surface at its peak. But we got a real understanding for how the bike feels - and it feels good.”
Unlike in Japan, weather conditions were favourable throughout the test.
“It was 15 to 18 degrees and the track was up to 25 degrees at some points of the day, so that was enough for the tyres to start working properly,” stated team manager Paul Risbridger. “It was perfect weather and we really could not have asked for more. The guys did a lot of laps and we did some proper testing of the new electronics system with Chris, which does seem to be quite a step forward.”