Kawasaki have finally announced that they will be withdrawing from the British Superbike series and putting all their effort into the World Superbikes for 2002.

The team claim that there is "little commercial value" in running a ZX-7RR against R1s and GSX-R1000s.

"In light of the interest in WSB in the UK we have withdrawn from the domestic series." MCN reported Kawasaki UK's Martin Lambert to say. "The efforts of the team in 2001 can't be underestimated and the fact that Michael Rutter was the only rider to win on a four-cylinder machine is a fitting tribute to the team.

Due to sponsorship troubles Kawasaki had a difficult season in 2001. They missed the Oulton Park round in July and ended the season with just one rider.

Michael Rutter is currently in talks with Virgin Yamaha, while Steve Plater, Kawasaki's other rider, is negotiating with several teams including Renegade Ducati and Motopower Honda.

"It's a shame, but I'm not surprised." Rutter said. "I think I could have been really competitive next year."



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