It has been revealed that Estonian teenager Tanel Leok, recently given a factory Suzuki 450 after impressing on a privateer 250 two-stroke, has signed to ride for the factory Kawasaki team in the 2005 and 2006 MX1 Motocross world championship - on their brand new 450F.

"I feel very honoured to have been offered this opportunity by (team manager) Jan De Groot," said Tanel. "I had various offers on the table, but finally the Kawasaki deal was the one that appealed most to me.

"It was a difficult decision, because I am very happy with my current situation at Motovision Racing, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mark Chamberlain, Motovision Racing and Team Suzuki for the opportunity and tremendous support they have given me in 2004," he added.

"I will be going full out to provide the team with my best possible results for the remainder of the season. Unfortunately, in the end, the chance to work on such an exciting project with a experience of a proven championship winning factory squad such as Jan has assembled was simply too good of an opportunity to pass up."

Leok will commence testing and developing his new mount at the end of the 2004 season as soon as he has fulfilled his current contractual obligations.

"I have been watching Tanel for some time now, although he is still young, he has proved to be very quick in a class littered with top class riders and world champions, he has the fighting spirit and sheer determination, which are all qualities that we are looking for at Kawasaki," declared team manager Jan De Groot.

"Tanel will be riding the new KX450F four stroke machine currently being developed in Japan by the Factory, this is a new bike which we will be constantly working and striving to improve through racing, a two year contract with Tanel provides the team with an ideal situation to allow us to develop the bike and get to the top of the MX1 class as quickly as possible," he revealed.

Meanwhile, Kawasaki also confirmed that Stephen Sword, currently lying 3rd in the MX2 World Championship, has signed a new two year deal which will see him continue on the KX250F four stroke machine next season - with the possibility of a move to the MX1 and the KX450F in 2006.

"My decision or intention to stay with Jan and Kawasaki was no secret, the team have supported and encouraged me 100% since I signed a deal this time last year, we only needed to sort out the finances and the deal was signed and sealed," Sword stated.

"The team have the full support of Japan and that itself gave me the confidence to enter into a two year agreement. This gives my career stability that allows me to focus on the job of winning championships, Jan and the team have shown tremendous confidence in me this year which I think has come through and shown in my riding.

"We have like most had one of two minor problems but this is racing at the highest level and you have to accept these things but Jan's positive approach is reassuring to say the least.

"My plans are simply, look to next year to win the world title, second position is my goal this year, but third place I'd be unhappy with. I intended to keep the pressure up on Ben Townley until the final lap of the final race and be prepared to be in the driving seat should he make any mistakes. For 2006 we will wait until later next year but I would like to move up to the MX1 class and ride the 450cc machine if all of our plans work out."

"I am delighted to have secured the services of Stephen Sword for a further two years," confirmed De Groot. "Stephen has proved to be a very professional rider and we have worked well together as a team since signing for Kawasaki at the end of 2003.

"Stephen will continue competing in the MX2 class but we will look at the possibility of moving up to the MX1 at the end of next season. We know that this season is far from being over the team are as determined as Stephen is, to give every effort to help secure the MX2 World Title in less than two months time."