Kawasaki Rules Out MotoGP Return To Concentrate On WSBK
Following the surprising comment that NGM Mobile Forward Racing's boss, Giovanni Cuzari is in talks with Kawasaki about their potential MotoGP return, I've requested an official statement from the Japanese brand.
Asked to comment, Kawasaki Motors Europe spokesman, Martin Lambert, said: "There is no intention to re-join MotoGP. The Kawasaki MotoGP team, equipment and infrastructure were disbanded. The KHI [Kawasaki Heavy Industries – Ed.] intention is to concentrate on the official factory team in WSBK and also offer support in WSS. By missing the championship by just 0.5 of a point last year, Kawasaki has the energy to try even harder to a Superbike Championship win in 2013."
Kawasaki left MotoGP at the end of 2008 with the remaining team running the ZX-RR in 2009 with Marco Melandri under the Hayate banner and with Dorna's funding. Headed by Andrea Dosoli, and rebranded to Forward Racing, the structure then stepped down to the Moto2 class for 2010, before Dosoli left to join Melandri at Yamaha World Superbike, leaving Cuzari fully in charge of the now Italian team.
Key personnel behind Kawasaki's MotoGP team, including KHI engineer, Ichiro Yoda, are now involved in the in-house ran Kawasaki World Superbike Team. However, under the new regulations, should Kawasaki wish to return to MotoGP, the Japanese brands would have to join forces with an existing team and infrastructure, which could lead to a perfect tie-up with Forward Racing – the very same squad which took over the Kawasaki equipment at the end of 2008.
Speaking on the launch of the team in Milan last week, Giovanni Cuzari mentioned that he's in talks with several parties regarding the 2014 season, including Kawasaki and Suzuki, which already made its MotoGP return intentions public but have not officially teamed up with any of the current squads so far, despite Power Electronics Aspar's Randy de Puniet widely tipped as one of the 2013 test riders.