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Dorna CEO Ezpeleta on Kawasaki withdrawal

Following Kawasaki´s announcement, confirming that the Japanese manufacturer would suspend its factory MotoGP activity, Dorna Sports CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta has revealed that a Kawasaki privateer project is under consideration.

Prior to Kawasaki´s announcement regarding their withdrawal from MotoGP, Carmelo Ezpeleta, the CEO of MotoGP Rights Holders Dorna Sports, met with representatives of the Japanese factory to acknowledge their decision and discuss the possibility of having Kawasaki machinery run by a privateer team.

`First of all, I would like to clarify the fact that what Kawasaki has suspended is its MotoGP racing activities through its factory team,´ stressed Mr Ezpeleta.

`We had a meeting in Osaka on Thursday (8th January) where Kawasaki explained their problems and the difficulties they had with continuing as a factory team,´ Mr Ezpeleta continued. `Under these circumstances we agreed to cooperate collectively, in order to find a possible solution to their problems which may allow them to continue as a privateer team.´

Kawasaki made their MotoGP debut in 2003 after a string of wildcard entries in the last races of the 2002 season. Since then the Akashi-based factory has secured three podium finishes, with Olivier Jacque second in China in 2005, Shinya Nakano also securing second in Holland the following year and finally in 2007, with Randy de Puniet taking his maiden MotoGP podium with second at Motegi.

Prior to their MotoGP effort, the Japanese factory had participated in the premier category of World Championship competition in two separate periods, firstly from 1970 to 1975, when Ginger Molloy finished runner-up in their first season. Dave Simmonds took victory at Jarama one year later to finish the series in fourth place overall, whilst Mick Grant clinched the Tourist Trophy in 1975.

The second chapter of Kawasaki´s 500cc experience came in a two-year period at the start of the 1980s. Kork Ballington was unable to add to their catalogue of victories but he did take two third place finishes in 1981.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2008, Kawasaki Racing Team

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