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Kawasaki unveil new ZX-RR at team launch

Kawasaki unveil new ZX-RR at team launch

Kawasaki unveil new ZX-RR at team launch

Fuchs Kawasaki made their official team presentation at a hotel near to the Circuit de Catalunya on Thursday evening, unveiling a brand new version of the Ninja ZX-RR machine to be ridden in the 2004 MotoGP World Championship by Shinya Nakano and Alex Hofmann. The ‘green team' is perhaps the most radically reconstructed squad in the whole paddock ahead of the new season, with team boss Harald Eckl, celebrating his 48th birthday, revealing that after just one season in motorcycle racing's premier class it was time for a major overhaul.

"To be fair, last season we were below average compared to our rivals and that is clearly not good enough for a factory the size of Kawasaki," commented the former 250cc rider. "We have increased our effort this season, with a new bike, two new riders and new tyre manufacturers in Bridgestone and we are optimistic. Shinya is a rider I have kept an eye on since he was in the 250cc class – he is a very high quality rider, a nice guy and, being Japanese, he will help communication between the team and the factory. Alex is young, only 23, so he still has it all in front of him but he has a great opportunity here and we will do everything we can to help him."

"I have been with Yamaha since I was 16 so it is a big challenge to make the switch to Kawasaki," added Nakano. "I came here because I spoke to Harald and I was very impressed with what he told me about Kawasaki's plans and I have not been let down so far. I have been on the podium in MotoGP before and I would love to get back there with Kawasaki, but the aim for now is to get competitive in the top ten and take it from there – I hope to be a huge part of the factory's future."

MotoGP, 2004, Kawasaki Racing Team

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