MotoGP »

Kawasaki not at Sepang.

The chances of Kawasaki's ZX-RRs continuing to race in MotoGP have been dealt a further blow after the machines were not present at the start of official 2009 testing, at Sepang on Thursday.

Ever since Kawasaki Heavy Industries announced its withdraw from MotoGP on January 9 - due to the global financial crises - Dorna and race team boss Michael Bartholemy have been working on a solution that would allow Bartholemy and his former factory team members to run the ZX-RRs as a privateer entry in 2009.

Kawasaki's subsequent decision to test at Eastern Creek and then Phillip Island provided hope of such a deal being reached, but it subsequently emerged that the test team had encountered reliability problems during the Australian outings - delaying a final decision from Kawasaki.

A firm yes or no to the privateer project is yet to be publically announced, but the absence of the ZX-RRs from Sepang indicates - at the very least - that Kawasaki is still far from convinced that allowing the machines to race on will be in its best interests.

Kawasaki is the only MotoGP manufacturer not to win a race since the four-stroke era began in 2002 and took a best finish of fifth last season with Hopkins and Anthony West, but the team had high hopes of an improvement from its brand new 2009 racer.

Kawasaki had also signed former MotoGP World Championship runner-up Marco Melandri to ride alongside Hopkins this season.

Dorna has warned Kawasaki that its ZX-RRs 'must race' in 2009 if Kawasaki wants to be released from the following two years of its MotoGP contract.

Kawasaki's absence would reduce this year's premier-class field to just 17 riders.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Team Kawasaki, French MotoGP 2008
Private testing action from Barcelona
Morning (left) and afternoon (right) lap times from Weds at Barcelona test
Marquez fall at private Barcelona test
New Catalunya chicane during private test
New chicane in use at Catalunya MotoGP test
Sylvain Guintoli tests ahead of Suzuki MotoGP debut (pic: Suzuki)
Sylvain Guintoli Suzuki Jerez test
Takuya Tsuda Suzuki Test Rider Sepang Test
Atiratphuvapa, Qatar Moto3 test 17-19th March 2017
Suzuki, Qatar Moto3 test 17-19th March 2017
Suzuki, Qatar Moto3 test 17-19th March 2017
Bulega, Qatar Moto3 test 17-19th March 2017
Fenati, Qatar Moto3 test 17-19th March 2017
Mir, Qatar Moto3 test 17-19th March 2017
McPhee, Qatar Moto3 test 17-19th March 2017
Fenati, Qatar Moto3 test 17-19th March 2017
Fenati, Qatar Moto3 test 17-19th March 2017

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

Fast Eddie - Unregistered

February 05, 2009 9:46 AM

I hear that Dorna will ensure that either a customer Kawazaki entry will be on the grid or as you say they'll find other teams to field third bikes for Hopper and Melandri to keep the competition alive. At this rate WSBK is looking very strong with the addiion of BMW and Aprilia, Dorna must be kicking themselves.

damo - Unregistered

February 05, 2009 4:47 AM

Dorna could even fund the Yam entry with the money they sue out of Kawasaki's ****. Forget Kawa ever coming back again if Dorna do sue them tho.

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.