Chris Vermeulen insists he is relishing the chance to take Kawasaki to the top of the World Superbike Championship this season, although the Australian admits that as many as 15 riders could be capable of victory this year.

Vermeulen makes his return to World Superbikes this year having spent recent seasons in MotoGP and will be teamed with Briton Tom Sykes for the season ahead.

While Vermeulen admits 'there is no pressure from the team and that it says top ten finishes would be great', the former race winner said he felt capable of fighting for victory although he conceded that the series had a strong line-up for the year ahead that would make winning races a difficult challenge.

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"I can do it!" he told the WSBK website. "I've won ten WSBK races before, been runner-up in the championship, and beaten most of those guys at one stage or another.

"We've got a new team that's got to gel together and we've got a motorcycle we're trying to develop, so it's about putting every piece of the puzzle together to get up the front. Realistically there are 15 or 16 riders who could win a WSBK race this year - honestly.

"It's not going to be easy at all, and the depth is the strongest I've seen in a long time."