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Vermeulen set for WSBK comeback

After months of rehabilitation and recovery the wait is finally over for MA Ambassador Chris Vermeulen, with the World Superbike star set to return to action for the second round of the WSBK Championship.

Narrowly missing out on racing in the season-opener at Phillip Island, Vermeulen has used the extended time between the events to further strengthen his knee and build up some much-needed miles on his Kawasaki.

Coming off significant surgery to his knee, the Kawasaki star has not missed a beat in his recovery and looks set to waste little time reclaiming his position as one of the premier riders on the WSBK circuit.

Chris blogs:  It has been 246 long, dark and plain frustrating days since I last rode in a World Superbike Championship race. From the time I went under the knife, to the five months I spent on crutches, to the hours upon hours of rehab, it has been a hard slog but finally there is light at the end of the tunnel.

G'day all, Motorcycling Australia Ambassador Chris Vermeulen here with my first in a series of exclusive blogs for the MA Website.

2011 is shaping as a big year for me on the bike, as I make my return from injury, and off the bike as I begin the work to help grow and develop Motorcycle Sport with the assistance of MA. For all the positives that 2011 has in stall, they were few and far between in 2010 with the knee injury I suffered at Phillip Island finally getting the better of me in July.

To stay I did a "good job” on my knee is a bit of an understatement. In that crash at Phillip Island I managed to tear my posterior cruciate ligament to pieces and severely damage my meniscus to the point it had to be replaced. All this meant I spent more than three hours in surgery and would be getting around on crutches for the rest of year.

OUCH!! Coming off at high speeds is not a pleasant experience. Not exactly fun times. But I wasn't going to let this get me down. The injury made me realise how much I love racing and how much I wanted to make the most of every opportunity I would have in the future to do what I love. This spurred me on through my rehabilitation.

When coming back from injury it's the little things that make a big difference. I knew if I did the work in the pool, in the gym and went to all the physio sessions it would give me every opportunity to be back racing sooner, and as strong as I was before.

If I could give any advice to riders who are suffering from injuries that mean they can't get on the bike I would say this. Think about how much you love riding and how every step of the rehab process, not matter how frustrating, will help you get back on the bike and racing better than ever. Keep focused on the prize. In any comeback from injury there are always bumps in the road and I was no different.

I had my heart set on racing at Phillip Island in front of a big home crowd and all of my friends and family. Unfortunately my knee wasn't quite right, but to know that I will be closer to 100 per cent fit for the round at Donington gives me great confidence, so when I get back on my Kawasaki I will be competitive from the first lap.

While getting back on the bike is exciting I'm also looking forward to working as MA Ambassador this year, and helping promote our great sport. I'm really passionate about our sport and can't wait to get my teeth stuck in to promoting the MA Junior Development Program and involve myself in other activities.

Big year ahead on my Kawasaki. Source: Toni Pinion.

Although I spend most of the year overseas on the WSBK circuit there will be times when I will be back in Australia and hopefully making a surprise visit to a club near you!

Don't forget there will be plenty of competitions and giveaways throughout the year so stay tuned to the MA Website for all the latest info.

Well that's me done for this MA Blog, but be sure to keep up to date with all my latest news and results at the MA Chris Vermeulen Webpage.