Paul Bird is sure Kawasaki will remain committed to the World Superbike Championship, despite the decision to withdraw from MotoGP.
There were fears the Japanese manufacturer would administer a full-scale withdrawal from motorsport having taken provisions to fend off the global financial crisis.
However, Kawasaki will go ahead with their plans to compete in the World Superbike and Supersport Championship having switched their backing to Paul Bird Motorsport and Provec Motocard respectively.
Indeed, Bird told Crash.net
that he is confident Kawasaki will honour their agreement with PBM, which is only for 2009 but includes an option for 2010, simply because of the huge chasm in budget World Superbikes and MotoGP represent.
“When you look at the budgets for MotoGP, it is astronomical – figures like £40million! Then you look at the top Superbike teams, who have a budget of around £4million, which is a tenth of the cost. For MotoGP, to get anywhere near that, you still need around half of that, so it is a massive amount of money compared to the WSBK guys.
“At the end of the day, you see a Superbike and it is the one that punters can go and buy on the Monday after the race and you can't do that with MotoGP. I can see MotoGP going through the doldrums in the next few years, where as we are going to see some good times for World Superbikes. Times are hard, but not as hard as running a MotoGP team.”
Furthermore, while the team comes with strong backing from existing sponsors, Bird is hopeful for the possibility that by leaving MotoGP, Kawasaki may have freed up some funds for their WSBK effort.
“Let's hope so – that would be good! When you look at the budgets, then see what people are buying, it is the Superbike, which is a lot cheaper to them than MotoGP. If you have a green motorcycle and it is running at the back then you have to wonder why you would spend £40million to run at the back of the field. It isn't doing the brand any good at all.”