Cartagena Test A Positive One For New Boy Vermeulen

December 4, 2009

Chris Vermeulen rode his 2010-spec Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R machine in a two-day test at
Cartagena, Spain, on November 30 and December 1, getting to know his full technical crew for the
first time.

The Aussie rider said of his Cartagena experience, "It was all good and our first real time on the bike to get familiar with it. It was also the first time working with the mechanics and engineers from the team. That side also went well; the team seemed to gel and they are all excited about the future. They are all good guys and that side worked well too."

Going for targeted lap times at this early stage was not in the overall plan, according to Chris. "Lap time wise, according to most people, we did reasonably well, but we were not trying to go fast. We were just making changes on the bike and understanding how it was going to react to those changes. Electronics, suspension, chassis and engine, all that kind of stuff."

Vermeulen's task was further complicated by the fact that he has never tested at Cartagena, despite his many years of racing experience, so he had to get used to the circuit as well as the machinery. "I had never been there before, not even in my BSB days, so it was another new thing to learn," said Chris. "There were only three bikes going around so we maybe didn't get the track surface at its peak. But we got a real understanding for how the bike feels - and it feels good."

Weather conditions were favourable throughout the test, as Team Manager Paul Risbridger confirmed. "It was 15 to 18 degrees and the track was up to 25 degrees at some points of the day, so that was enough for the tyres to start working properly. It was perfect weather and we really could not have asked for more. The guys did a lot of laps and we did some proper testing of the new electronics system with Chris, which does seem to be quite a step forward."