Kawasaki has confirmed its newly crowned World Supersport Champion Kenan Sofuoglu and race winner Fabien Foret will remain with the manufacturer for 2013, but will switch to its burgeoning 'Team India' division.
Sofuoglu and Foret rode the ZX-6R under the stewardship of Lorenzini Racing and Intermoto Step Racing respectively in 2012, the former winning four races on the way to his third career title (Kawasaki's first in more than a decade) and the latter scoring a pair of victories on the way to fourth overall.
For 2013, Sofuoglu and Foret will both move over to the recently conceived MAHI Racing Team India outfit, which made its WSS debut mid-way through 2012 under the MSD RN Team India banner.
“I will stay with Kawasaki and we will have a good future together hopefully,” said Sofuoglu, the most successful rider in WSS history. “It is good to be part of the whole Kawasaki project now and my new riding partner is Fabien Foret. I am happy to have him as my team-mate and we should make a strong team together.
“We will do something new for 2013, in the new team, and they have already been on the podium in 2012, at the last race. I think all together we will make a strong team.”
One of the most experienced riders on the WSS grid with 140 starts on his belt, Foret was delighted to be staying with Kawasaki for another season.
“I am very happy to sign with a new team, especially as they were already involved in the championship in 2012. It still feels like a new and exciting project and I will try to bring the best results I can, but I also bring my racing experience. I have a good relationship with the people in the team already.
“It is great to be on such a strong bike again, as the Kawasaki was the best bike this year. For next year I think I have the best position because although I am in a new team, I am staying on the same bike and I will have the same crew chief as this year.
“So we will be starting 2013 with the data from 2012 and one year of experience on the Ninja ZX-6R, which is an ideal situation.”
As yet, Kawasaki hasn't formalised the full structure and size of its WSS effort for 2013, but hints that MAHI Racing – which scored a podium in the final race of the season courtesy of Dan Linfoot – is 'expanding'.
MAHI Racing Team India comes into the World Supersport Championship ahead of the series' inaugural Indian event, to be held at the Buddh International Circuit.