Almost a year after he last completed a full race weekend, Chris Vermeulen not only reached the end of the Misano World Superbike Championship event, but did so with a top ten finish.
Since calling time on his 2010 campaign at Brno last July, the Australian has endured a pain-staking return to fitness from knee surgery, so much so that he came into the Misano weekend having not completed a full race weekend in almost a year.
Nonetheless, despite persistent niggles from his knee, as well as an elbow injury sustained at Monza in May, Vermeulen was on track in each session and made the start of both races, finishing 14th in race one – his first points of the year -, before finishing just behind team-mate Joan Lascorz in tenth during race two.
Indeed, though Vermeulen accepts the high attrition rate contributed to his race two result, it nonetheless marks his first top ten finish since re-joining the WSBK ranks with Kawasaki.
"Obviously it was hard to jump back into the thick of it this weekend and we had three races, not two. I am a little bit sore now but we managed to finish both races in the points and with a little bit of luck, got into the top ten in race two.
“In race one, we had a little issue with the set-up because I was struggling to get a good feeling from the front of the bike but we were able to improve that in race two. We are still learning but we are improving all the time."
Vermeulen will now travel to Motorland Aragon, where he tested between the Miller Motorsports Park and Misano rounds.