The Kawasaki World Superbike Racing team has announced Chris Vermeulen will move to the series next year after signing a deal with the Japanese manufacturer.
The Australian rider, currently racing with Suzuki in MotoGP, will thus return to the World Superbike championship, where he raced in 2004 and 2005, finishing runner-up in his second year.
"The Kawasaki World Superbike team structure has evolved well in this its first year being run by Paul Bird and his experienced crew," said Steve Guttridge, Kawasaki European Race Planning Manager.
"For next year we realise that we need to make another step forward to be competitive at WSB level and we believe Chris could be the key to this. It's an understatement to say we are looking forward to next season now, we just can't wait!"
Vermeulen, who will begin testing the WSB Ninja ZX-10R in November, said he wanted to test the bike earlier but wasn't allowed by Suzuki.
"I was hoping to get a ride on the bike at the Portimao tests after the race there but my current team does not want to release me from my current contract until the GP season is finished, which is completely understandable. So my first ride should be at Autopolis in Japan on 18th and 19th November," he said.