Biggles Racing Team and Kawasaki New Zealand join forces.

Kawasaki New Zealand (Kawasaki Motorcycle Distributors) is proud to announce the partnership with Biggles Racing Team (BRT) for 2021/2022 road race season. The team will contest the NZSBK series aboard two new 2021 Ninja ZX-10R superbikes with riders Campbell Grayling and Jason Hearn.

Kawasaki New Zealand, owned by parent company, the Verhoeven Group (VGL) is a proudly NZ family-owned business and the association with BRT was a natural fit for KNZ.
BRT Team Owner/Manager Marcus Beagley has a history with Kawasaki and road racing, having previously raced a Ninja ZX-6R to a top 10 finish in NZ Supersport 600 class. Team partner Grant Shivas is also excited for the partnership. Grant’s involvement began by chance as a spectator at a motorcycle racing event. Naturally, Grant’s background in motorsport compelled him to become involved in the excitement of motorcycle racing.

Mike Cotter, General Manager of Kawasaki NZ believes the partnership will be the start of a long-term relationship and the timing could not be better, coinciding with the release of the all-new 2021 Ninja ZX-10R. “The team at Kawasaki are passionate about motorcycling with majority of staff participating in a full spectrum of motorcycling codes. Racing is something that we enjoy being a part of, so the opportunity to partner with Marcus, Grant and the team was an easy decision”, commented Mike.

Campbell and Jason join esteemed Kawasaki supported racers Avalon Biddle and Dave Sharp and are relishing the opportunity to step up to the premier class while learning to adapt to the ZX-10R as quickly as possible.

“Jumping from the Supersport 300 class straight into Superbikes is a big step for the riders and team but our expectations are realistic. This partnership is about the bigger picture and paving a way for future champions in road racing”, says Alarn Young, Marketing Co-Ordinator for Kawasaki NZ.

Biggles Racing Team is also supported by Dunlop tyres.

Biggles Racing Team

Rea Wins Another As Lowes Podiums Twice

Jonathan Rea (KRT) scored another race win and then a second place at Motorland Aragon on Sunday 23 May to lead the championship after the first weekend of WorldSBK racing in 2021. Alex Lowes (KRT) is ranked second overall after two more strong podium rides, in second and third place.

After two dry days at Motorland rains appeared on Sunday morning, making the warm-up session fully wet. The ten lap Tissot Superpole ‘sprint’ race and then the final 18 lap Race Two were held in slightly different, if changeable conditions, where tyre choice proved to be even more important to the final results than normal

In the ten lap Superpole race at 11.00am Rea used his pole position starting place to full effect, only being demoted for a short time before taking back a lead that would grow to 3.5 seconds over Lowes at the flag.

Lowes was again on good form in the sprint, with both KRT riders opting for what proved to be the correct choice of intermediate fronts and rears in the sprint race.

Race Two proved to be more or less dry on the racing line after the sighting lap, which saw Scott Redding and his slick tyres take his first win of the year.

Rea was a clear second despite being pushed off track when another rider ran in too hot during the approach to a corner. Fortunate not to fall, Rea got going again from fifth place to work his way into a final second place and finish off a superb weekend – highlighted by reaching an unprecedented career total of 100 race wins on Saturday. He now has 101 race wins in total after his subsequent Superpole race win on Sunday.

Lowes was in combative and controlled form in the long Race Two, using his intermediate tyres to their best effect to finish on the podium in third place after his two runner-up showings earlier in the weekend.

After a very strong start to the season with the new Ninja ZX-10RR the KRT riders are 1-2 in the championship standings. Rea leads with an almost perfect 57 points, Lowes has 45 and Redding 40. Kawasaki leads the manufacturers championship by 13 points after round one.

The season opener at Aragon will be followed by the Estoril Round in Portugal, between 28-30 May.

Jonathan Rea, stated: “I am really content with the weekend because to win the first race of the season was 100 times better than last year, and also to claim my 100th victory was a real target of mine. Today, I never experienced conditions like this in my whole career, where it really is a big tyre choice by the minute. Every minute it changes. With three minutes to go in race two I was asking Pere if they still had slicks on the grid! The Superpole race was the first time I had ever raced the intermediate tyres so huge kudos to Pirelli. I decided after that experience to use that tyre choice in the final race as well. It was the safest option. It wasn’t the right one, but it was the safest one, for sure. The majority of the grid had that combination. I realised that I was going to race for second but second feels like a win. The only way we could have been more competitive is with the right tyre choice. From that point of view I am really happy and excited for Estoril next week.”

Alex Lowes, stated: “We had no chance of staying with Scott in race two because after two laps the track was completely dry. That was a shame but I felt good on the bike and at the end I played a bit with some settings to find a bit more grip. Three podiums to start the year, on a track I think I have had one podium at in a sprint race on another bike before, but nothing really special. So it is nice to start the season like this. It is just one weekend but I feel good on the bike, which helps. If you are in control on the bike then you can manage the situations a little bit better. This morning in the full wet conditions I felt good. In the dry I felt good. In the mixed conditions we did a good job. In all of these conditions with the bike we understand what is happening and that puts us in a good position going forward.

Kawasaki Puccetti Racing rider Lucas Mahias retired in the sprint race today but was tenth in race two, placing him 15th overall. Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki competitor, and another rookie, Isaac Vinales was 15th and 13th today, having scored point in all three opening races in his native Spain. Loris Cresson and Samuele Cavalieri (TPR Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) have yet to score points, with Cresson 20th each time and Cavalieri retiring and then 21st in Sunday’s races.

2021 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics

Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020
2021: Races 3, Wins 2, Podiums 3, Superpoles 1
Career Race Wins: 101 (86 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 188 (146 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 28 (24 for Kawasaki)

Alex Lowes:
2021: Races: 3, Wins 0, Podiums 3, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 2 (1 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 27 (7 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 1 (0 for Kawasaki)

8 x Riders’ Championships (Scott Russell 1993, Tom Sykes 2013, Rea 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020), 1 x EVO Riders’ Championship (David Salom 2014)
6 x Manufacturers’ Championships (Ninja ZX-10R 2015 & 2016, Ninja ZX-10RR 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020)
5 x Teams’ Championships (KRT/Provec Racing 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019)

Kawasaki FIM Superbike World Championship Statistics
Total Kawasaki Race Wins: 160 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 460 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 93 – second overall

#NinjaSpirit

#Rea6

#FaceYourself

#Reach100

Words and Photos: Kawasaki EU

2021 TT Nationals a Wrap

The Kawasaki sponsored annual event, on grassy farmland 20 minutes North of Hamilton featured great racing over the 2-day event.

With no man-made obstacles and no high-flying jumps, road-racers and offroad racers went head to head on a neutral playing field demonstrating their skills on the road-racing style layout on dirt. Take a look at some of the action held at the Fuller Farm.

Grass paddock racing layout.

Billee Fuller (KX85) was on form in the Senior Women’s division, taking out 2nd overall on her 85cc!

KawiGirls offroad ambassador Mikayla Rowe (KX250X) dominated the Senior Womens class with 5 wins from 5.

Seton Head (KX450) came from behind to win MX1 moto 1. Unfortunately he hit a marker and sustained a tendon injury in his hand.

Angus Evans (KX250) rounded out the podium in the MX2 class.

Loamy berms made for some spectacular action.

Mitch Rowe (KX500) and daughter Mikayla Rowe (KX250) in the classic class.

Kawasaki Motorcycle Distributors parent company acquires new powersports brands

Verhoeven Group Limited (VGL) is proud to announce the acquisition of the New Zealand distribution rights to three renowned brands in the motorcycle industry.

The VGL team pride themselves on being distributors of premium-end lifestyle and leisure brands for the New Zealand market, including Life Fitness, Hammer Strength, Nautique Boats, Kawasaki, The Fitness Depot and Asset Resources.

The latest additions of Pro Circuit, Works Connection and Hinson brands to the group are a natural fit for VGL. These brands strive to provide the very best in aftermarket racing products for competition off-road motorcycles, with a racing track record to prove their success at the highest level of motorsport.

Pro Circuit, established by Mitch Payton in 1978, has become synonymous with horsepower. The brand has been celebrated for specialist performance exhausts whilst offering a catalogue of engine, linkage, triple clamps and suspension upgrades.

Works Connection was established by Eric Phipps in 1989, and continues to produce quality products to meet the demands of discerning motocross racers. Specialising in protective and lightweight protective hard parts, Works Connection have been entrusted by factory race teams to ensure longevity and reliability.

Hinson was founded in 1992 by Wayne Hinson and was borne out of a passion for off-road racing. Hinson have developed the world’s strongest clutch components ever since and are proud to have amassed over 400 National and World Championships in 29 years of business.

“Verhoeven Group are passionate about motorcycling, and bringing the best products to New Zealand off-road racers. Racing is something that we enjoy being a part of, but the opportunity to take it to the next level and offer riders the very best in performance hard parts was an easy decision”, commented Shane Verhoeven, Managing Director of Verhoeven Group Limited.

Life Fitness NZ supply the world’s leading Commercial Fitness equipment to gyms throughout New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. Nautique NZ are leading the wakeboarding and water ski towboat market in the New Zealand. Kawasaki NZ are the distributors for motorcycles, side by sides and Jet Skis and are supported by a dealer network throughout New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

The VGL team are based in Hamilton, Waikato. The acquisition is official from Friday 12 February 2021. An online store is being developed and will be available in the coming months. See www.verhoevengroup.co.nz for updates.

Contact details:

Powerparts Depot
Damien King
027 710 0074
damien@powerpartsdepot.co.nz

GREEN MEANS GO AND THAT’S JUST WHAT YOUNG TYLER DID

FEBRUARY 9, 2021: Kawasaki has a new star rising on the horizon and that individual in Pukekawa’s Tyler Brown.

In fact, he’s no longer just on the horizon – now he’s up close and right in the face of his rivals.

The 15-year-old stormed to the top of the junior motocross pecking order when he won the 14-16 years’ 250cc class at the 60th anniversary New Zealand Motocross Grand Prix at Woodville last month and that was surely a massive hint as to what might be coming up just a week later and the 2021 New Zealand Junior Motocross Championships in the Bay of Plenty.

It’s fair to say that Brown, a year 11 student at Onewhero Area School, had done his homework and it was now he who was doing the teaching, taking his bright green MR Motorcycles Kawasaki KX250 four-stroke bike to hand out a few lessons of his own at the junior championships at Tect Park, about halfway between Tauranga and Rotorua, over the long Waitangi Day weekend.

The 15-year-old won three of his five races over the three days and was a solid seven points ahead of his nearest rival, Hamilton’s Nick Westgate, with one race to go on Sunday afternoon, but still it came down to that final race of the weekend before he could eventually clinch it.

Brown crashed soon after the start of Sunday’s final 250cc race and was passed by another of his main title rivals, Invercargill’s Jack Symon, the South Islander moving his new Kawasaki up from sixth at the start to claim third spot and Brown therefore had to dig deep just to hold on to his fourth position in that decisive race.

Oparau’s Hunter Scott won the race, holding off a stern challenge from Westgate, with Symon finishing third and Brown fourth, enough for Brown to clinch the title.

“This is my first New Zealand  title. I’ve waited a long time for this. I won Woodville last week and now this, so it just feels really good to get it done.

“I felt the pressure after finishing only fourth in my first race of the weekend. So I put my head down and won the next three. Then I had an ‘off’ in the last race. A bit of nerves got to me I guess. There was a soft spot on the track that I couldn’t see through my dirty goggles, I tucked the front end of the bike in and down I went.

“I definitely should win a world record trophy for picking up my bike the quickest,” he laughed.

“I don’t really have any words to describe how I feel right now.

“Dad helps me out a lot and I couldn’t do any of this without him … or mum too. I had so much support, for which I’m grateful. A huge thanks to Kawasaki New Zealand and all my other sponsors too.”

Brown comes from a family of motorcycling high-achievers, his father Craig Brown not only his mentor and mechanic at the weekend, but also a top-five finisher in his senior championship days and more recently a national champion in the veterans’ grades as well. Tyler Brown’s grand-father, Mike Wilkins, was a national hare-scramble (cross-country) champion in his day too.

Other class winners at the weekend were Tauranga’s Madoc Dixon (15-16 years’ 125cc class); Tauranga’s Aidan Roberts (12-14 years’ 125cc class);  Whanganui’s Troy Bullock (14-16 years’ 85cc/150cc class); Waitoki’s Cole Davies (12-13 years’ 85cc/150cc class); Taupo’s Declan Connors (8-11 years’ 85cc/150cc class); Tauranga’s Levi Townley (8-11 years’ Pro 65cc class); Palmerston North’s Hannah Powell (12-16 years’ 125cc/250cc women’s class); Raetihi’s Karaitiana Horne (12-16 years’ 85cc/125cc women’s class); Taupo’s Mikayla Griffiths (8-11 years’ 85cc/150cc women’s class).

Credit: Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com