Kawasaki UK and MSS Bathams Kawasaki have intimated its displeasure that Peter Hickman is riding the FIXI Crescent Suzuki in the World Superbike Championship this weekend.
Hickman was announced as the surprise replacement for the injured John Hopkins on the eve of the Donington Park event, the Briton competing despite his contract with Kawasaki in the British Superbike Championship.
However, while Suzuki had expressed thanks to the rival manufacturer for Hickman to ride this weekend, Kawasaki has responded by saying it did not 'release' its rider to compete.
“It is being reported in some sections of the media that MSS Bathams Kawasaki rider, Peter Hickman, has been released by the team to compete on a rival manufacturer machine as part of the Donington Park round of the 2012 World Superbike Championship.
“MSS Bathams Kawasaki and Kawasaki Motors UK wish to assert that this is not the case, that Peter Hickman has not been released by the team to take part in the event and has made the decision to take part of his own volition.
“Neither MSS Bathams Kawasaki or Kawasaki Motors UK will make any further statement at this time.”
Hickman, who has qualified 19th for his WSBK debut, is currently classified 20th in the 2012 BSB standings.