Kawasaki have confirmed an official end to their partnership with factory-backed World Superbike team PSG-1 Corse after four years of co-operation.
The San Marino based outfit has been receiving Kawasaki's support since the 2005 season when they switched from running Ducatis.
However, despite initially enjoying modest success, the team have managed just one victory, courtesy of Chris Walker at Assen, and a further three podiums in that time, while 2008 has proven to be their worst season yet.
As such, Kawasaki have announced a split from PSG-1 as they seek a return to good form ahead of what is likely to be a competitive 2009 season. While it hasn't been confirmed who will run Kawasaki in 2009, the deal is strongly expected to fall to Paul Bird Motorsport.
“The PSG-1 team has worked particularly hard this year to create a good environment for our WSB effort within our official support structure,” said Kawasaki's European race planning manager Steve Guttridge. “Unfortunately we could not find a consistent improvement between rider and machine and so we have to look at new ways to do that for next season.
“We've had some great results with PSG-1 over the past few years and I'm sure we will see them obtaining those kind of results again, when the team manages its own structure once more, maintaining our colours if they wish to.”
In addition, it was also confirmed that Makoto Tamada will remain with Kawasaki in 2009 as he sees out the second term of his two-year contract. His partner is tipped to be World Supersport race winner Broc Parkes.
Meanwhile, PSG-1 are expected to remain on the World Superbike grid in 2009, possibly returning to run private Ducati's. Team Pedercini standout Ayrton Badovini has been linked to them.