MotorcycleDaily.com – Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Kawasaki on Its Way Back to MotoGP Grid, as Well?

As we recently reported, Suzuki is well along in its preparations to return to the MotoGP grid next year, including scheduling a test in June alongside the current MotoGP participants.  Is Kawasaki planning a return, as well?

The CTR team Forward Racing switched from BMW to Kawasaki Power this year, and its owner John Cuzari has told European press representatives that he has already had discussions with Kawasaki about Forward being the base for Kawasaki’s official return to factory MotoGP racing.  The use of Kawasaki engines in an FTR chassis this year clearly should help cement relations between Forward Racing and the Japanese factory.  Kawasaki’s ability to obtain grid positions next year likely hinges on its use of an existing CRT team, as the owner of the MotoGP series has expressed the intention to add no new grid spots in the coming year.  Stay tuned for further developments.

19 Comments

  1. Dave says:

    MotoGP puts too much emphasis on engineering and too little on the rider. This keeps competition mostly absent and we see less participation from the factories. Too bad.

  2. TomS says:

    As a long time fan of The Green, I’d love to see a factory Kawasaki or two on the grid. But if they come back I hope they throw the necessary shiploads of cash at it, so they’re not an embarrassment like they were back in 2007/8.

  3. Vrooom says:

    It would be great to see Kawasaki back. Personally I’d like to see all the major manufacturer’s competing. They should try to get back to something closer to a bike that sells in dealerships, and make it less costly to compete, but I’ll take Kawasaki and Suzuki back.

  4. Dale says:

    I like em all, but, there is a special place for Kawasaki :-) Factory level involvement is what Makes MotoGP work, imho. As was mentioned before, why not just punt a CRT Team if you want to hold the grid size. (My series? Let the market and qualifying determine grid size, a 107% cutoff for instance. Yes Sir! Mr Factory please make yourself at home.)

    I think we can stick a fork in the whole CRT thing as it stands, I can’t conceive of how good a Rider would have to be to run with Jorge on the Yamaha on a CRT bike… I’m not saying that CRT was a bad idea, I just don’t think it should run with the true MotoGP bikes. Multi-class races, ala Lemans, may work OK for cars but not for Motorcycle sprint Races imho. Maybe, it could survive as a stand alone series… Moto1?

    My two cents:

    The Factories should decide/agree what the equipment rules are in MotoGP (majority rule). Those rules should be stabilized.

    The Rider’s, with assistance from the Factories should decide all safety issues. If the Riders declare something a Safety issue, it is.

    Any “Spec” rules to be agreed to by all parties. If a promoter had 3-7 Factories agree to a rules package, get out of the way and promote.

    • Dave says:

      The factories in MotoGP are what is currently smothering it. Honda and to a slightly lesser degree Yamaha want it to be a wallet race because they know they can win that and they’re perfectly happy if Suzuki and Kawasaki, Aprilia, BMW, KTM, Triumph, and MV Agusta don’t want to play. CRT was not the right solution but without them there were 12-14 bikes on the grid, which was embarrassing to what should be the premier class of motorcycle racing. The economy is tough, if they want the series to be healthy then they have to adjust the cost of entry so more sponsors will want to participate. See Moto2 and WSBK, which are very competitive and well participated.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “I’m not saying that CRT was a bad idea”

      exactly, ’cause those kind of statements should be left to me…

      CRT WAS A BAD IDEA…!!!

  5. soi cowboy says:

    I don’t think anyone in America gives a crap about gp, at least it doesn’t sell any bikes here. It is a big deal in Asia though, where they sell millions of bikes.

    • Vrooom says:

      Attendance at US GP events as well as TV coverage (which could be better) seems to fly in the face of that analysis. It’s huge in Europe as well, where the majority of the races are held. It was perhaps 2 years ago that GP racing was polled as more popular than AMA US series racing here in the States. I have no idea whether it sells any bikes or not. Since the GP bikes are so different from production bikes, it may not.

  6. Marty O says:

    Would be nice. Us Kawasaki fans would like to see that. It would be a tough fight though. Sure hope it happens though. Go Green!

  7. Norm G. says:

    re: “Suzuki is well along in its preparations to return to the MotoGP grid next year”

    ironic considering ezpelata/dorna are not.

  8. mickey says:

    The owner of the MotoGP series doesn’t want any more grid positions? How stupid is that? If I owned the series, I’d welcome any manufacturer that wanted to play.

    • Dave says:

      I would think they would just punt a CRT team. Last year it seemed that anybody that wanted to try could put a CRT bike on the track.

  9. Norm G. says:

    re: “Kawasaki on Its Way Back to MotoGP Grid, as Well?”

    nope.

  10. Hefner says:

    I think it’s a bit silly for both Kawasaki and Suzuki to have pulled out, only to return a few years later. I question the benefit of being an also-ran manufacturer in the series, and I doubt they will be anything but, at least to start with… And then rule changes will come in and destroy what data they have been able to accumulate.

    Maybe their plan was to go WSBK instead, and having Dorna own that series put a stop to it? I’ll admit it’s a stretch…

    • Rich says:

      They undoubtedly dropped out due to the worldwide recession. They were losing business hand over fist. Racing is incredibly expensive.

    • PatrickD says:

      The main purpose for the factories to go racing is to market the brand. Do you think that MotoGP was a positive marketing exercise for either Kawasaki or Suzuki? Combine the fact that it was, if anything, soiling the brand with the high costs, and it became a straightforward decision to make.
      Kawasaki have placed greater emphasis on production based racing in the last 3 years, which has really enhanced their sportsbike credentials. Their sales, especially in the US, back this up. Sportsbike buyers at Honda and Yamaha dealers have been getting a strong deja-vu feeling over the last 4 years.

    • Vrooom says:

      The problem with that theory is they are already in WSBK and very successful there. Tom Sykes missed the championship last year by 1/2 a point.

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “they are already in WSBK and very successful there. Tom Sykes missed the championship last year by 1/2 a point.”

        FISTPUMP…!!!