Kawasaki Racing faces a race against time to secure a rider to replace the injured Joan Lascorz for the remainder of the 2012 World Superbike Championship after its original choice of David Salom apparently turned down a lucrative offer.
The Spanish rider, who has returned to the WSBK fray this year with Kawasaki's satellite operative Pedercini, was reportedly approached by the factory concern with a view to replacing Lascorz, who has been sidelined by the serious injuries sustained in a testing accident last month.
However, according to Moto.it
, the move created a conflict with Pedercini after Kawasaki said it wasn't able to compensate the Italian team by helping it find a worthy replacement to ride its ZX-10R.
Despite this, team manager Lucio Pedercini deferred the decision to Salom instead in an effort not to deny his rider the opportunity for a potential career-making switch.
Remarkably though, Moto
says Salom has turned down the offer out of loyalty for the Pedercini squad, who gave him his WSBK break in 2009 before re-signing him again this season.
This commendable act comes despite a substantial wage offer and the fact Salom has prior ties with Provec Racing (which are behind the official Kawasaki team) having finished runner-up at WSS level with them last year.
Excluding any further attempts by Kawasaki to secure its first choice, it will now be looking at alternatives to join Tom Sykes, with Anthony West, Noriyuki Haga and Luca Scassa all being linked to the potentially front-running bike.