Team Kawasaki has announced that they will not be contesting round seven of the British Superbike series this weekend. Sponsorship funding pledged at the start of the season has failed to materialise, leaving the team with no alternative but to withdraw from the Oulton Park round of the Championship.

"We're working very hard to resolve our funding problems and put Team Kawasaki back on track for the remainder of the 2001 season," said Team Manager, Simon Buckmaster. "Michael (Rutter), Steve (Plater) and everyone in the team have shown tremendous commitment this season and I'm determined to do everything it takes to get the team back where they belong - at the front of the British Superbike field."

Michael Rutter will ride a Kawasaki ZX-7RR for leading privateer team, Hawk Racing, at Oulton Park this weekend. The 27-year-old former Grand Prix rider, who finished on the podium last time out at Thruxton, is determined to do everything he can to defend his fourth place in the championship standings.

"The fact that Team Kawasaki are unable to compete this weekend is obviously a big disappointment," said Michael Rutter. "However, I'm confident that they'll be back for the next round at Knockhill and, for that reason, I need to do what I can to retain my position in the championship.

"I'd like to say a big thank you to Stuart Hicken and the Hawk Racing team for giving me the opportunity to race at Oulton Park and, while I'm not expecting miracles, I'm definitely looking for two points scoring finishes this weekend," added Rutter.

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