Akira Yanagawa has been given a last-minute call-up to replace Chris Vermeulen for the final World Superbike Championship test at Phillip Island.

The Kawasaki test rider takes the place of the beleaguered Vermeulen, whose lengthy struggle with a knee injury has forced him to concede defeat ahead of what would have been his home round.

A year on from when he first hurt the knee in a crash during race two at Phillip Island, Vermeulen - who underwent surgery in August 2010 - had hoped to participate in the pre-season test before making his racing return later in the week.

However, doctors have advised the former MotoGP rider to delay his comeback until round two at Donington Park in a month's time over concerns he won't be able to stand the longevity of a race weekend.

As such, Yanagawa is riding the third factory Kawasaki alongside Tom Sykes and Joan Lascorz at Phillip Island, the 39-year-old returning to the WSBK fold having deputised for Vermeulen at Silverstone last season.

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