There is little doubt that Kawasaki was disappointed when Loris Capirossi decided to sign with Suzuki for 2008. As it searches for a teammate for young John Hopkins, what options does Kawasaki have left?
There is a rumor Shinya Nakano may return to Kawasaki MotoGP next year as a teammate to John Hopkins. Nakano left Kawasaki one year ago to ride for a Honda privateer team, but this was only a one-year deal. Nakano lacks the depth of experience Capirossi would have brought to Kawasaki (including his insights on this year’s best bike — the Ducati), but he could be a valuable mentor to Hopkins nonetheless.
MotoGP observers tend to believe Nakano rode the Kawasaki well, but left before the green machine showed its true potential this year. Nakano and Hopkins could form a powerful one-two punch as Kawasaki hunts frequent podiums in 2008.