Wednesday, January 02, 2008

MotoGP: Kawasaki to go for the title in 2009

John Hopkins, testing the 2008 Kawasaki ZX-RR MotoGP machine

Kawasaki’s 2007 MotoGP season was average at best, with Team Green taking just one podium finish (Randy de Puniet came in second at Motegi…). Apparently, Kawasaki needed to put in more time towards developing the ZX-RR, and hiring more experienced (and talented?) riders. Their performance in 2007 doesn’t faze Kawasaki’s competition manager though. According to a report on, Michael Bartholemy says he’s quite convinced that his green bikes can be real contenders for winning the MotoGP world championship in 2009.

‘We are now ready to go for the world championship in 2009. I am convinced we can do this, completely convinced. We have some very, very good people with us at Kawasaki and I think we have the best team in MotoGP. We have gone through many ups and downs but together we have created an incredible motorcycle and built a factory team – I feel extremely proud of all of them,’ says Bartholemy.

Kawasaki are committed to staying on in MotoGP till 2011 at least. And for 2008, they have chosen to develop their 2007 racebike, rather than go for an all-new machine. Says Bartholemy, ‘We'll not be introducing a new bike and this, I think, is a very positive move. Keeping the same machine, but making changes to it as needed, is something which I believe will make us stronger. Our bike has been working increasingly well, so why bring in something completely different?’

Of course, what will certainly be new in 2008 is the Kawasaki lead rider. With John Hopkins having left Suzuki to join Kawasaki, there will finally be a properly capable, experienced and committed rider aboard the ZX-RR, and that could make a world of difference. In fact, Hopkins coming to Kawasaki could also mean that Team Green may have brand new sponsors – Monster Energy – who’ve sponsored Hopkins earlier. Either way, with John Hopkins and Anthony West aboard the team’s updated ZX-RR Ninjas, 2008 just might see Kawasaki notch up a win or three in MotoGP. We wish them all the best!

Also see:
Rizla Suzuki: The HOTTEST pit babes in MotoGP!
First pics and specs: 2008 Suzuki GSX-R750 and GSX-R600...
From Finland: Turbocharged Honda CBR1100XX Super Blackbird!
Aprilia working on V4-powered superbike...
The coolest MotoGP paintjob in 2007...
The 'MotoGP bike' we'd love to own...

External links:
Riding off-road? Here's what you need to see!
Never heard of Claudia Rossi? Well, here we go...
Er..., yes, do drink and ride!
Back in time: The earliest tilting trikes...

Kevin Schwantz and Wayne Gardner, two of our most favourite motorcycle GP racers of all time! We spoke to Schwantz here and Gardner here

1 comment:

Phil H said...

All I can say is - can't wait for the new season!

Hope it won't be the MotoZzzz like 2007...



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