“While we’ve always considered road racing an integral part of our sportbike development process, the realities of the current economic situation dictate the temporary suspension of our U.S. road racing activities,” says Bruce Stjernstrom, Kawasaki marketing director.
Kawasaki’s announcement leaves open the possibility of returning to AMA racing in 2011 or beyond, if the economy recovers.
“We expect to see eventual improvements in the general economic condition and Kawasaki will reevaluate its road racing position as we monitor those issues,” says Stjernstrom.
In January, Kawasaki announced it would merge its factory team with Attack Kawasaki while withdrawing from the AMA American Superbike class to focus entirely on the AMA Daytona Sportbike class. The unified Monster Energy Attack Kawasaki team entered Jamie Hacking and Roger Hayden in the 2009 season.
Hacking was in the title hunt early in the season but faded off after receiving a one-race suspension for uttering profanities at a post-race press conference. Hacking finished fourth overall with seven podium appearances. Hayden missed the first three races of the season for a personal leave of absence, but returned to finish 12th with a pair of second-place finishes.
Kawasaki’s announcement comes nearly a year after the manufacturer decided to withdraw from MotoGP racing.