Kawasaki has confirmed that Simon Andrews will replace Chris Vermeulen for this weekend's third round of the World Superbike Championship in Spain.
Vermeulen has been forced out of the event after undergoing keyhole surgery on the knee injury he picked up in the Phillip Island season-opener.
Having replaced Vermeulen for the recent Valencia test, BSB racer Andrews will now get the chance to team up with Tom Sykes for the weekend and admitted he was thrilled to be given the chance to race on the WSBK stage.
"I'm delighted to be given an opportunity to race for the Kawasaki Racing Team and am really looking forward to the weekend,” he said. “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."
Team-mate Sykes admitted it was disappointing that Vermeulen will be forced to miss a second successive race meeting but said he was confident of scoring points for the team 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,” he said. “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."