MotoGP »

2009 Kawasaki makes test debut.

Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta may have been a little premature in revealing that Kawasaki were testing their MotoGP machine at Eastern Creek on Wednesday, but the surprise two-day test did get underway at the Australian circuit on Friday.

Kawasaki officially announced its withdraw from MotoGP earlier this month, but Ezpeleta isn't prepared to let the factory simply walk away from the remaining three seasons of its contract to race in MotoGP.

Instead, Ezpeleta is proposing that Kawasaki allows its ZX-RRs to race on in 2009, probably in the hands of a privateer team made up of former factory team personnel, and in return is willing to release Kawasaki from the 2010 and 2011 seasons.

Exactly what technical support and funding Kawasaki would be expected to provide is unknown - and the factory states it only has enough engines built for 25% of this season - but Ezpeleta has warned that he will "take them to court" if Kawasaki don't race in one form or another in 2009.

The appearance of the 2009 ZX-RR at Eastern Creek seems a clear indication that Kawasaki could well race on - it makes no sense to test if the machines definitely won't be on the 2009 grid - although there have been suggestions that the test was scheduled (and shipping of equipment had begun) before the pull-out was announced.

Either way, Kawasaki development rider and former 250cc world champion Olivier Jacque - riding alongside fellow test rider Tamaki Serizawa - claimed to be impressed.

"Overall it seems lighter and more agile, so the work done over the winter definitely seems positive," the Frenchman told the official MotoGP website. "Now we have to rack up some miles to have a better idea of the bike's potential."

Kawasaki's withdraw has left the racing futures of its contracted riders John Hopkins and Marco Melandri up in the air, with all 17 remaining 2009 MotoGP rides already taken.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Kawasaki Ninja Logo, Brno MotoGP Test, August 2007
2016 Suzuki GSX-RR (Suzuki)
Aleix Espargaro on the factory Suzuki GSX-RR at Motegi.
Suzuki GSX-RR
Suzuki GSX-RR
Suzuki GSX-RR
Suzuki GSX-RR
Suzuki GSX-RR
Suzuki GSX-RR
Michael Laverty on PBM’s BSB Kawasaki at Cartagena Test (pic: Stephen English)
Edwards bike, Spanish MotoGP 2013
Blusens Avintia FTR Kawasaki CRT, Jerez MotoGP Test March 2013
NGM mobile team, Jerez MotoGP Test March 2013
BMW safety bikes, Catalunya MotoGP 2012
Kawasaki Streetbike with engine removed for FTR CRT , Sepang MotoGP tests, 31st Jan-2nd Feb 2012
FTR Kawasaki CRT, Sepang MotoGP tests, 31st Jan-2nd Feb 2012
Kawasaki on Yamaha Parade lap,   Japan MotoGP 201
Kawasaki, Japanese MotoGP 2011

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.

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

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