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Kawasaki Leaving MotoGP?????

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Kawasaki Leaving MotoGP?????

Post by tammerz on Wed Jan 21, 2009 6:38 pm

Kawasaki drops motogp

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Re: Kawasaki Leaving MotoGP?????

Post by tammerz on Wed Jan 21, 2009 6:39 pm

Kawasaki boss heads to Japan for crunch talks
By Matthew Birt

MotoGP

20 January 2009 10:22


Kawasaki’s MotoGP team boss Michael Bartholemy is flying to Japan today (Tuesday) for crunch talks expected to decide the fate of a proposed rescue plan to keep John Hopkins and Marco Melandri on the grid in 2009.

MCN has learned that Bartholemy will meet senior Kawasaki management tomorrow (Wednesday), and sources have confirmed he will be given a final answer on whether two ZX-RR machines will be made available for the forthcoming campaign.

Bartholemy has been working on a rescue deal since Kawasaki team staff received notification of the Japanese factory’s decision to quit MotoGP on December 29.

Kawasaki’s failure to honour a commitment to supply bikes to MotoGP until the end of the 2011 series at least, could leave them facing a reported £20m fine from Dorna.

Carmelo Ezpeleta told tomorrow’s MCN that he is confident he will have 19 bikes on the grid for the first race in Qatar on April 12 as he too was heavily involved in brokering a rescue deal for Kawasaki.

A hint that Kawasaki might be willing to supply bikes to a ‘private’ team run by Bartholemy came today with the start of a planned two-day test in Phillip Island cancelled.

Having completed a two-day test on the 2009 prototype ZX-RR in Eastern Creek last weekend, test rider Olivier Jacque was due on track today in Phillip Island, venue for the Australia MotoGP race.

But now the team will only test tomorrow (Wednesday) to avoid breaching strict testing restrictions.

No team is allowed to test between December 1 and January 20, so to avoid any possible penalty for breaching the testing ban, Kawasaki opted not to run on track today.

The move suggests Kawasaki is seriously considering supplying a satellite team operation, with Bartholemy again at the helm.

MCN also understands that a mystery engineering firm has been sourced to manufacture a shortfall in 2009 spare parts and also help with development, with Kawasaki not seeking any active role in the running of the team or evolution of the bike.

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Re: Kawasaki Leaving MotoGP?????

Post by tammerz on Wed Jan 21, 2009 6:51 pm

No Aspar involvement in Kawasaki rescue deal
By Matthew Birt

MotoGP

21 January 2009 10:14


Jorge Martinez won’t be involved in any potential Kawasaki MotoGP rescue deal for 2009.

The Spaniard had effectively ruled himself out earlier this month when he doubted a deal could be clinched on his own terms.

And Dorna boss Carmelo Ezpeleta, who had initially urged Martinez to mount a takeover bid for the Japanese factory squad, has confirmed to MCN that he won’t be involved in a last-minute rescue deal.

Martinez, who currently runs successful 125 and 250 teams, had wanted to secure a minimum three-year deal with a factory.

He wanted to nominate at least one rider for the team, even though John Hopkins and Marco Melandri have contracts with Kawasaki for ’09.

He also wanted guaranteed factory support from Kawasaki and a long-term deal to join the premier class ranks after Kawasaki announced it would withdraw its factory team from MotoGP with immediate effect in early January.

Ezpeleta told MCN: “I think Aspar is not interested in this matter with Kawasaki. If it is possible, the team must be run by the same people that were running the project before they took the decision to withdraw.”

Kawasaki team boss Michael Bartholemy flew to Japan yesterday (Tuesday) for crunch meetings with senior management. He is expected to find out whether Kawasaki will provide bikes for a privately run team later this week.

Failure for Kawasaki to be involved in some shape or form in the 2009 series is likely to see them hit with a massive £20m fine for breach of contract.

Kawasaki signed a contract with Dorna in 2007 that committed them to supplying bikes until the end of the 2011 campaign at least.

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Re: Kawasaki Leaving MotoGP?????

Post by tammerz on Wed Jan 21, 2009 6:52 pm

Ilmor confirm interest in Kawasaki partnership
By Matthew Birt

MotoGP

21 January 2009 14:20


Ilmor Engineering bosses have confirmed expressing serious interest in being part of a last-minute bid to keep Kawasaki involved in the 2009 MotoGP world championship, MCN can exclusively reveal.

The Northamptonshire-based engineering experts have been in ‘recent’ contact with team management including Michael Bartholemy about becoming technical partner in a plan to run the ZX-RR bikes in a private team.

Ilmor management have been closely monitoring the Kawasaki situation, with Dorna boss Carmelo Ezpeleta trying to influence a rescue deal to keep John Hopkins and Marco Melandri on the grid in 2009.

Bartholemy is currently in Japan holding crunch talks with Kawasaki management to try and clinch a deal to run the ZX-RR bikes after Kawasaki announced it would withdraw its factory team in early January.

Part of a rescue package includes the need for Kawasaki to agree a technical collaboration with an independent engineering company.

Kawasaki doesn’t have enough parts built for its 2009 ZX-RR to complete the full season, while its withdrawal because of the global economic crisis means it won’t even consider engine servicing or the development of new performance parts during the season.

Ilmor Managing Director Steve Miller told MCN: “First of all as we understand it, Dorna are obviously very keen to make sure that the team keeps going, even if it is not officially funded by Kawasaki. I think they are trying to do everything they can to help.”

In terms of the discussions Ilmor had conducted, Miller said he only talked with Kawasaki team staff and Dorna about collaboration, and not any senior management in Japan.

“I don’t think I am speaking out of turn by saying we have certainly expressed in it. But other than us coming forward and expressing an interest in the possibility we haven’t got too much further forward because it is waiting on a decision from Kawasaki.

"We have spoken to the team. We are just waiting on Kawasaki’s decision, because all we have done is express interest and say we are keen to do the work. We believe a decision is imminent,“ said Miller.

Miller said Ilmor’s involvement would hopefully extend to the development of new parts to improve performance as the season went on.

He added: “We are obviously quite keen to do the servicing work and then if funds were available to do some on-going development then we would be more than happy to do that too. We would love to find a way back into the MotoGP scene and see where it might lead from there.”

Ilmor is currently awaiting news on Bartholemy’s talks in Japan this week, with an outcome on the saga expected by the end of this week, or early next week.

Ilmor’s possible return would see the highly respected engineering company back in the MotoGP fold for the first time since an ill-fated attempt to break into the bike racing world in 2007.

Ilmor boss Mario Illien withdrew the team after just one race in 2007 as he struggled to source sponsorship for the ambitious project, leaving Jeremy McWilliams and Andrew Pitt frozen out.

The bike had struggled to make any significant impact in its early track appearances with reliability and performance issues.

Ilmor though has the distinction of being the first 800cc machine to compete in a race when Garry McCoy rode against 990cc machines at the end of the 2006 campaign.

Ilmor, formed in 1984, has enjoyed success in Formula One and Indy racing in America.

It now possesses its own independent design, development, testing and manufacturing facilities, employing 55 staff in total. Its main business is the development and production of racing engines, from conception through to trackside.


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Re: Kawasaki Leaving MotoGP?????

Post by tassiedevil on Tue Feb 17, 2009 4:52 am

Yes we were talking about this today at Phillip Island..

Melandri got paid out, and Hopkins is still under contract with Kawasaki so he can't change teams until Kawasaki decide what they are going to do..
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