Vermeulen forced out with injuries

CHRIS Vermeulen's season of woe continued when the Yandina racer was forced to abandon yet another race of the World Superbike Championships because of injury.

Cruelled by continuous setbacks in 2011, Vermeulen hit another hurdle when he crashed during a practice session and hurt his left elbow and back on Friday.

Vermeulen was still hopeful of racing on the weekend and managed to line up for race one of round 8 in Brno.

But it proved a battle to finish in 18th place and after consultation with the team it was decided he should pull out of the second race in the Czech Republic.

“We have been struggling all weekend since the crash on Friday morning,” Vermeulen said. “I did a warm-up and I said to the team I would be okay to race but 20 laps together was really hard.

“For the last eight I was riding around to just finish. My elbow had really swollen up and my back was sore after Friday.

“Together with the team we took the decision not to take any more risks and not ride in race two.”

Vermeulen has competed in just seven of the 16 races so far this season. He is in 20th place in the standings.

Italian Marco Melandri held off Max Biaggi to win at Brno.