Kawasaki has become the latest manufacturer to officially launch its 2013 World Superbike Championship campaign as it looks to build on the promise of a superb 2012 season and challenge for its first title in two decades.
Joined by riders Tom Sykes and Loris Baz, the Japanese firm took the wraps off the 2013-specification ZX-10R in an event held at the FAD (Fostering Arts and Design) Institute in Barcelona, close to the team's Provec-helmed Spanish base.
Visually, the Kawasaki ZX-10R retains a similar livery to that of its predecessor, the iconic green colour scheme now complemented by more predominantly black farings and the red signage of prominent backer Motocard, while the previous splash of blue has been omitted.
Kawasaki comes into the new season full of confidence after a breakthrough campaign in 2012 – the first to be overseen by Provec - transformed the relative minnows into title contenders, with Sykes scoring nine pole positions and four race wins on the way to the runners-up spot, just half a point shy of the title.
With Kawasaki's last World Superbike title coming with Scott Russell in 1993, Kawasaki Motors Europe director Shigemi Tanaka is optimistic that Provec's exceptional debut year in 2012 will spur them onto even greater success in 2013.
“I am honoured to be here to represent Kawasaki Motors Europe and KHI Japan, which are responsible for the World Superbike racing project. Five years ago Kawasaki joined forces with a new and young team called Provec, who managed our World Supersport effort in Europe. They provided an excellent overall effort for Kawasaki.
“Just last year the Provec team were rewarded by being promoted to assist our factory engineers in Japan, to develop our official World Superbike racing effort. Technically, the team are at a very high level and all the staff work hand-in-hand with our technical partners around the world to provide a race-winning package - the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R.
“Kawasaki regards our investment in both the Provec team and the World Superbike Championship as money very well spent. So we are very happy to be here again, in beautiful Barcelona, to launch the official Kawasaki Racing Team and to look at our amazing 2013 Ninja ZX-10R race bike, delivered by Provec.
“We wish the team, its staff, its riders and everybody involved in the racing programme the very best of success over the 2013 season.”
Kawasaki will now travel to Australia for the opening round of the 2013 season at Phillip Island on Feb 22-24. The team will also be present at the circuit for pre-season testing, to be held in the week leading up to the first event.