Kawasaki has confirmed its World Superbike and Supersport plans remain unchanged in 2009 despite the manufacturer's withdrawal from MotoGP.

With the Japanese firm announcing an immediate exit from the premier motorcycle series last week, it was feared their commitments in the World Superbike Championship could also be affected.

Nonetheless, with their World Superbike operation running out of their European arm, race planning co-ordinator Steve Gutteridge told the official World Superbike website that they remain focused on the season ahead.

"The World Superbike and World Supersport programmes are going ahead as planned for 2009 and we are putting all our efforts into those. We have two new teams, one in each category, and are working well with both of them. There is no change of plan."

With the number of manufacturer entries rising to seven in 2009, Kawasaki enter the new season with an entirely new line-up in a bid to improve on a series of disappointing seasons.

As such, Paul Bird Motorsport takes over from PSG-1 Corse as their Superbike partners and Gil Motorsport is replaced by Provec Motocard in Supersports.

"In Superbike, factory assistance is being increased with the Paul Bird team and there is more collaboration than before with Kawasaki Motors Europe and Kawasaki Heavy Industries. This should lead to big improvements in the team and the bike. It's early days yet, we just started everything up before Christmas but at the first race we should be up to speed.

"In Supersport the Provec Motocard Kawasaki team is going very well and is running ahead of plan. Joan Lascorz is proving to be very quick, he likes the bike and everyone is enthusiastic about the project. We think there'll be a few surprises this year."

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