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Kawasaki Racing Team ready for 2022 MXGP campaign

The Kawasaki Racing Team will again enter the FIM Motocross World Championship with a strong line-up in the premier MXGP class; the 2022 series starts on February 19-20 at Matterley Basin (UK).

2021 was an epic end-of-season as three riders battled all the way down to the final moto for the title and with the silver medal, headed by the slenderest of margins, Romain Febvre gave Kawasaki its best-ever result in the premier MXGP class. The thirty-year-old Frenchman will again be the leader of KRT after signing a new two-year-deal directly with the Japanese factory which will now be even more deeply-involved in the new project as the reins of the Kawasaki Racing Team pass to Formula One legend Kimi Raikkonen and past motocross GP winner Antti Pyrhonen. Both have been involved in the sport for many years and celebrate their tenth anniversary in MXGP this year. In fact, their first season together was on private Kawasaki machinery, and they are now back in Green to run the Factory Kawasaki Racing Team assault with full support from KMC Japan and KME. England’s Ben Watson, a long-time training partner of Romain Febvre, will enter his second season in the MXGP class after a strong learning year in 2021; the young British talent is ready to enter the pre-season races this weekend on the island of Sardinia and one week later in France.

Steve Guttridge (Race Planning Manager – Kawasaki Motors Europe – KME): “In October of 2021 a new company and legal entity known as Kawasaki Motors Ltd – KMC was established in Japan to focus more directly on the Kawasaki motorcycle business which includes our factory racing team projects. The new company and management will be strategically involved in utilising the Kawasaki Racing Team’s MXGP racing activity, along with their own Research and Development. inside the MXGP arena more directly than in the past to integrate innovations into future KX production models for our worldwide customer base to use in their own racing endeavours. The Kawasaki Racing Team MXGP has a massive and complex role to fulfil; we believe that the team will continue to help us make big strides towards our ultimate goal of becoming MXGP World Champion. “

Kimi Räikkönen (Team principal – KRT MXGP): “It’s no secret that, for me, one of my great passions in life for many years has been motocross but this team is not what you might call a hobby; it’s very serious, very focused and we aspire to be the best we possibly can. Now I have retired from racing I will be able to spend more time on this project; not on the daily issues but more from a strategic point of view using my experience of how teams work and what creates success on the world stage. Everyone including myself is delighted that Kawasaki has chosen us to be the Factory team. I know that the chance of success is always greater with direct factory support so this translates into a great opportunity for us as the new Kawasaki Racing Team in MXGP.”

Antti Pyrhonen (Team manager – KRT MXGP): “Since I joined Kimi’s team ten years ago we have never stop working hard to get the best results in the MXGP class and, after we achieved some good results with numerous wins and podiums, we now have the opportunity to work closely with a prestigious factory. We have been working on this new project for several months already and we are of course delighted to have this opportunity to join Kawasaki and to run the Kawasaki Racing Team. The MXGP class is the pinnacle of our sport and we know how competitive the series is, but we are looking to this new challenge with optimism as we have two strong and fast riders to enter this new chapter with a factory behind us.”

Romain Febvre: “For sure it has not been my best winter since I started racing. It’s always frustrating to be recovering from an injury while your rivals are working on the tracks but that’s how it is; injuries are part of our sport. My recovery is going well and I can’t wait to get back on my Kawasaki. The championship will again be long and I will do my best to start racing as soon as possible. 2021 was definitely a great season for me; I felt so comfortable on the KX450-SR and I was fighting for the title until the very last moto. Signing a two-year factory deal with Japan was good for my confidence, and it is another boost to be involved in the new project from day one.”

Ben Watson: “There aren’t so many factory rides in the MXGP class so I’m very proud to be selected by the Kawasaki Racing Team for my second year in this championship. It’s a new chapter of my career and it’s great to work closely with Romain; we know and appreciate each other as we have trained together in the past. I learnt a lot during my rookie season and I am confident for the season ahead as I have seen how strong the team is after sharing time together for a couple of months already. It’s really exciting to be part of this new challenge.”

Biggles Racing Team and Kawasaki New Zealand join forces.

12 JULY 2021

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

Rea Wins Sixth Straight WorldSBK Title!

Jonathan Rea (KRT) secured his sixth successive WorldSBK Riders’ Championship win with a fourth place in the opening 21-lap race of the final round in Estoril, after starting out 15th on the grid. Alex Lowes (KRT) took a fighting sixth place in the race after qualifying seventh in Superpole.

The latest of Jonathan Rea’s six championship wins, all as an official Kawasaki rider, came after some early dramas as he fell in Tissot Superpole qualifying and had to start from the fifth row of the grid.

Moving up to second place long before half race distance on his Ninja ZX-10RR Rea pushed hard inside the podium positions but had to settle for fourth place at the chequered flag.

On the slow down lap he celebrated his latest championship success on track with a golden crash helmet, six ‘Superbowl style’ winners’ rings and special T-shirts for him all his team, marking his remarkable sextet of straight championship victories in memorable fashion.

Rea still has one more major landmark to shoot for in 2020, as a next WorldSBK race victory would make it a magical 100 in all since he first started out in WorldSBK over a decade ago.

Lowes had a tough and determined fight against both the official Honda machines in race one, as he showed his characteristic grit and desire, finishing inside the top six at a circuit completely new to him this weekend.

One ten lap and a final 21-lap WorldSBK race remain for Jonathan and Alex at Estoril on Sunday, with each out to end what has been at times a highly unusual eight round championship campaign with a flourish.

Jonathan Rea, stated: “I have no feeling right now; I cannot even look back. It has been an incredible journey this season. I want to thank WorldSBK, Dorna, all the circuits and organisers to even get racing this year. In the middle of what everyone has experienced in 2020 sport always comes second – but we managed to race. I miss the fans here, I miss not having my family and friends here, and all my travelling support from back home in Northern Ireland; I really miss that. They cannot be here right now but it is for all of them and my Kawasaki Racing Team, for keeping pushing this season. We started behind like last year but never gave up. It has been a hell of a journey and I am so happy.”

Alex Lowes, stated: “First of all I am so happy for all the Kawasaki guys and Jonathan. For the whole of KRT, and especially for the guys on his side of the garage. It is so hard to win a world championship let alone six in a row, so big respect to them. I am proud to be part of the team and let’s hope next year we can get involved too and make it a bit harder for him. In Superpole I feel like I did not do a very good lap on the qualifying tyre. There are quite a few corners here that you are on the side of the tyre for a long time and with the Q it just upset the front a bit, which I did not expect. In the race I got a good start but I wasn’t fast enough in the first few laps. I got into a battle with the two Hondas and I felt I was faster than those guys but they kept passing me and I would get back onto them, but and then the same thing would happen again. It was a bit of a frustrating race because I could not find my own rhythm. I feel that if I could have done, I could have got away a little bit.”

Xavi Fores (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) finished in a strong eighth place in race one, with Sheridan Morais (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) 16th and Loris Cresson (Outdo Kawasaki TPR) 18th.

2020 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics

Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020
2020: Races 22, Wins 11, Podiums 17, Superpoles 4
Career Race Wins: 99 (84 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 185 (143 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 27 (23 for Kawasaki)

Alex Lowes:
2020: Races: 22, Wins 1, Podiums 4, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 2 (1 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 24 (4 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)
5 x Manufacturers’ Championships (Ninja ZX-10R 2015 & 2016, Ninja ZX-10RR 2017, 2018 & 2019)
5 x Teams’ Championships (KRT/Provec Racing 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019)

Kawasaki FIM Superbike World Championship Statistics
Total Kawasaki Race Wins: 158 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 454 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 92 – second overall

#NinjaSpirit

#Rea6

Rea Scores Two Strong Wins

Events

Kawasaki Track Day

JOIN KAWASAKI FOR AN EXHILARATING TRACK DAY AT HAMPTON DOWNS NATIONAL CIRCUIT!

Kawasaki is proud to present the Kawasaki Track Day at Hampton Downs on Friday 12th February 2021.

Join Kawasaki on the national circuit for an unforgettable day at Hampton Downs.
The day is incredible value at only $180 or $140 for Kawasaki riders.

Garage spaces available to book directly during registration process for $50.

Sign-on from 7.30am, riding from 9am.

There are 4 classes:

  • Novice
  • Slow/Medium
  • Medium/Fast
  • Race

The Kawasaki Track Day is a fun and low-pressure day to enjoy the closed-course environment. This is not a race day. Please ride at your comfort level and chose the appropriate group for your speed and skill-level.
Faster riders dropping down classes will be moved into the appropriate class.

Safety Gear Requirements for Hampton Downs Track Day on 12/02/2021

Novice

  • Required – Helmet, Split leathers, Gloves and Boots
  • Recommended – 270˚ / One Piece Leathers, Back Braces and Chest Protector

Medium & Fast

  • Required – Helmet, 270˚ Leathers, Gloves, Boots, Back Brace
  • Recommended – Chest Protector

Race

  • Required – Helmet, 270˚ Leather, Gloves, Boots, Back Braces and Chest Protector

Demo bikes are not be available on-track. Please consult with your local Kawasaki dealer if you would like to try a new Kawasaki.

Get in quick as spaces are limited. Please register online at linktr.ee/kawasakinz