– Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

The New Player

When Kawasaki entered MotoGP a few years ago, they flatly stated they did not intend to win races for at least several years. At the time, I thought it was an odd approach. In competitive sports, the goal is almost always to win as soon as possible, and Kawasaki was not a newcomer to competitive motorcycle racing.

Perhaps, Kawasaki was just being realistic and smart about approaching development of a race winning MotoGP bike in a slow, methodical manner. By all accounts, Kawasaki now has that race winning bike that combines power, top speed and handling better than most of the bikes on the grid.

The missing ingredient has been a top rider. Although Loris Capirossi was pursued, Kawasaki ultimately won a bidding war for the services of young John Hopkins. Hopkins has been at the top level of motorcycle racing longer than Nicky Hayden, although he is younger. Like many other MotoGP riders, Hopkins was a child prodigy who delivered as an adult, and he now is no stranger to the podium.

Kawasaki and Hopkins come together when both seem to have completed their apprenticeships, and are ready to fight hard for race wins each and every week. Just one more reason to watch the 2008 MotoGP series closely.

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