Chris Vermeulen has admitted his steady path to full fitness looks set to continue into the fifth round of the World Superbike Championship at Monza.

Having made a return to competition last time out at Assen, where he struggled to get sufficient movement in his injured knee, the Australian admits he is still having problems in the affected area, even if he maintains things are getting better.

As such, Vermeulen is excited to be making a return to Monza for the first time since 2005, when he won a race for Ten Kate Honda on the way to second position in the overall standings.

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"I'm really looking forward to the Monza event as it's an exciting race and a special circuit, partly because it is so fast. It will be great to race there again, this time on the Kawasaki. The last time was 2005 and I had a win so it's a positive circuit for me, with good memories and results.

"As for my knee, I'm still not 100% but I'm working hard on it and it's improving each day. I still have some difficulties with movement but for sure it will be an improvement from Assen. I'm looking forward to jumping on the bike and seeing what Monza brings to us."

Team-mate Tom Sykes, meanwhile, is aiming for the top ten in Italy after just missing out at Assen.

"I'm really looking forward to getting back on the bike for the Monza weekend. I feel slightly cheated that I wasn't able to finish race two in Assen after the progress we'd made there. Each race I am getting more and more comfortable on the Ninja ZX10R and I'm learning a lot about the bike every weekend.

"We are making steady progress and I have full confidence in my team. I hope that I continue to bring the bike home inside the points scoring places and hopefully creep in to the top 10, which we're all aiming for."