Kawasaki to quit MotoGP?
Reports say Team Green will announce withdrawal Jan. 5
British motorsports site Autosport.com reports the Japanese manufacturer will announce its withdrawal from MotoGP racing on Jan. 5, 2009.
A Kawasaki withdrawal would leave riders John Hopkins and Marco Melandri without a ride and reduce the MotoGP grid to 17 entrants and four manufacturers.
If Kawasaki does withdraw from MotoGP, it would follow other Japanese manufacturers who
Recent performance may also be a factor for Kawasaki to pull out of MotoGP. Ramona, Calif. native Hopkins and Australian Anthony West had difficult seasons in 2008, finishing 16th and 18th respectively in a field of 18 regular competitors. In August, Kawasaki signed Marco Melandri to replace West in 2009. Melandri finished the 2008 season sandwiched between Hopkins and West in 17th place.
Hopkins, Melandri and test rider Olivier Jacques participated in the test session of the 2009 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-RR, Nov. 26-28 on Australia’s Phillip Island circuit.