The biggest shock announcement of last season was that of Suzuki pulling out from MotoGP just two seasons after winning the world title with Joan Mir

As both its riders looked for other options, as did many of the team’s members, Dorna reserved the departing Suzuki spot on the grid for a full factory team.

However, with only Kawasaki and BMW being realistic options, that was before both manufacturers decided against joining MotoGP, Suzuki’s grid slots have so far not been filled. 

And on the most recent episode of the MotoGP Podcast, Huewen refuted the idea of Kawasaki becoming major players for a return to the Grand Prix paddock following their exit from the series in 2009.

"No, zero! I think it’s absolutely zero [percent chance]," said Huewen. "I think with the way the marketplace is going in the world then the answer has to be zero. BMW were talked about and that was muted at one point. 

"Why would you? You’d almost want to be paid to be joining it at the moment. You would want Dorna to be stumping up some of the development cost. Look at Suzuki backing out - we talked about that so many times. 

"I can’t see at this point, with the state the world is in, anybody [stepping up]. Even Kawasaki. Kawasaki out of all the manufacturers probably has the most money. 

"Kawasaki heavy industries is a massive conglomerate so chipping a few million off the back of that would probably be easy. But does it make any sense to get your backside kicked in two championships?"

What Huewen is referencing in WorldSBK is the lack of winning that Kawasaki and Jonathan Rea, who won six championships in a row from 2015 to 2020, are now struggling compared to their rivals. MotoGP editor, Peter McLaren, agreed with Huewen that a return to MotoGP appears slim for Kawasaki, especially since their exit left a bad taste with Dorna officials, although there is a way in which he could see Kawasaki having interest.

McLaren added: "The best I could say is that they’ve got more chance than Suzuki coming back. Suzuki ripped up the contract and left, and that’s what Kawasaki did previously which is why there’s a bit of a black mark with them coming back. 

"But on the other hand they have supported WorldSBK. They’ve pumped a lot of effort and money into that championship and they’ve been the stars of that championship for many years. That will work in their favour if they did want to come back in the future. 

"But it’s a difficult one. It would be such a big step. Again, you have to look at the next contract cycle, what would the engine rules be. If Kawasaki suddenly believes that it’s somewhere they need to be, then that could attract them in. But it would be something like that. 

"BMW turned it down and could have taken the places Suzuki gave up. But nobody stepped in. we knew it was being reserved for a factory but no factory has taken that chance." 

Speaking to in May, 2022, Kawasaki confirmed that WorldSBK and not MotoGP was their focus, which is why a return failed to materialise.

Guim Roda, Team Manager at KRT, said: "From Kawasaki's point of view, years ago, I believe KMC Japan decided to focus on the WorldSBK Championship for some key reasons and still those reasons are relevant."

"The brand value of the media exposure realised by WorldSBK is very good and it shows Kawasaki’s quality and the serious way of working. At KRT, we feel this helps sell many other models, not just Ninja. Motorcycle is a passion and, by racing, we confirm this passion. KRT tries to share this with all Kawasaki fans in the world. 

"Technically, in WorldSBK we use mass production models, it is more logical to race this way than to make new chassis, engines or aerodynamics every year like in MotoGP. For Kawasaki and KRT it is easier to manage internal resources linking them with R&D and mass production of street bikes than try to make a racing show with bikes final customers cannot buy for street use. 

"At KRT we try our best at every race and every test to improve the package and also energise Kawasaki fans worldwide, whatever machine they ride. I personally believe that is the spirit of Kawasaki racing."

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