MotoGP »

Kawasaki remains coy on withdrawal.

The saga of whether Kawasaki will remain in MotoGP continues on this week with the rumour mill shifting to the future of riders John Hopkins and Marco Melandri.

The Japanese manufacturer was strongly rumoured to have announced their withdrawal from the series earlier this week, but with the 'deadline' passing and no word emerging from the 'Team Green' camp, some hopes have been raised that a rescue deal may be sought.

Although it is still expected that Kawasaki are planning to end their manufacturer involvement in MotoGP, the delay in confirming it is rumoured to stem from a possible deal involving Jorge Martinez's Aspar concern.

As revealed earlier this week, Martinez claims to have been contacted by series organisers Dorna, who are determined to maintain Kawasaki's presence in the series, even if it is not in a works capacity.

The options could see Martinez take up the running of the two bikes Kawasaki has already spent time and money developing for 2009 (albeit not fully), although the identity of the riders will undoubtedly come down to who gets the most sponsorship space.

Between Hopkins and Melandri, Hopkins comes with heavy backing from American energy drink company Monster, making him a tempting candidate for the teams currently fighting the global economic crisis. Linked with Tech 3 Yamaha in place of Colin Edwards, Superbike Planet are reporting that Hopkins could still ride a Kawasaki in 2009, albeit in the AMA Superbike Championship - provided the team commits to an entry.

Melandri, meanwhile, is thought to be more of a concern for Dorna, who are keen to keep him in the series, despite his disastrous season with Ducati. With less money to bring to the table than Hopkins, Corriere dello Sport report that it is up to Dorna to arrange something for him to stay in the series.

Both Hopkins and Melandri's options seem very limited, with MotoGP having already posted a provisional entry list and no team seemingly wanting to commit to a second or third bike in a time of economic hardship.

The World Superbike Championship has been mooted, particularly for Melandri as it would be likely that FG Sport would aid his attempts at securing a top ride, but with all of the top seats filled (barring a financially-aided expansion), both riders could be facing a season on the sidelines.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Hopkins, Valencia MotoGP Tests 2008
Nicky Hayden - A tribute
Private testing action from Barcelona
Morning (left) and afternoon (right) lap times from Weds at Barcelona test
Marquez fall at private Barcelona test
Barcelona Circuit of Catalunya chicane final sector
New Catalunya chicane during private test
New chicane in use at Catalunya MotoGP test
Pedrosa, Zarco, Vinales, French MotoGP 2017
Vinales, French MotoGP 2017
Crowd, French MotoGP 2017
Baz, French MotoGP 2017
Rossi, Vinales, French MotoGP 2017
Iannone, French MotoGP 2017
Folger, French MotoGP 2017
Crowd, French MotoGP 2017
Dovizioso, Crutchlow, French MotoGP 2017
Vinales, Zarco, Rossi, French MotoGP 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.

Twit - Unregistered

January 07, 2009 2:02 PM

How short some peoples' memories are. Hopper finished 4th in the championship on the under powered Suzuki. That means in a very strong rider field, only 3 managed to beat him.

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

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