Kawasaki insist that MotoGP is way too expensive for them to enter this year, or for the forseeable future.
The big, green racing machine ran in MotoGP for five years between 2003 and 2008 before the financial crisis led to them withdrawing completely from the GP class in 2009. And despite their success in World Superbikes since, they’re not intending to return to MotoGP anytime soon.
“In the end, you have to sell motorcycles, and other brands sell several million more than us. For them, MotoGP is an investment equivalent to one percent of their sales.” – Ichiro Yoda, Kawasaki World Superbike Senior Engineer.
Despite Aprilia and Suzuki returning in 2015, and KTM confirming that they are set to join them for at least one round in 2016, Kawasaki say that they simply do not have the resources to join the other marques and to produce a competitive offering.
And then there are the technical restrictions.
A production-derived motorcycle – like the ZX-10 R simply wouldn’t be able to compete – or even be used as a base machine from which to build a MotoGP offering, so Kawasaki would have to start from a clean sheet of ‘bike-design sketch paper’.
Seamless gearboxes aren’t used by Kawasaki on their road machines and are too prohibitive in cost to be considered a worthwhile investment for them, so unless Dorna change their rules then it looks like WSBK is going to be the primary home of Kawasaki Racing for some time.