Kawasaki has announced that its replacement for Joan Lascorz at this weekend's World Superbike Championship round at Monza will be experienced grand prix racer Sergio Gadea.
The manufacturer has been actively seeking a substitute for Lascorz since the Spaniard's horrific accident during testing at Imola last month, with rumours suggesting that Pedercini Kawasaki rider David Salom had turned down the offer after he was approached.
Instead, his countryman Gadea comes on board to make his Superbike racing debut with the factory-backed Provec Racing-run team, the 28-year-old making the switch after several seasons competing at 125GP and Moto2 level. During that time Gadea notched up three GP wins, each at 125GP level, and finished fifth overall in both 2006 and 2009.
His appointment comes at a time when Kawasaki is establishing itself as a regular front runner, with new team-mate Tom Sykes currently classified third in the overall standings after three rounds.
“This is a great challenge for me and I am very happy about it,” he said. “I want to thank Kawasaki for the confidence they have had in me this weekend. I have never seen Monza before - only on the Playstation - and I was up until 1:30am this morning playing it. I have also done many laps on the scooter just to be sure of the circuit layout for the first practice session on Friday.”
It is not known whether Gadea will see out of the remainder of the season with Kawasaki.