The 2007 MotoGP season marks a new era for Kawasaki. Not only will the Japanese manufacturer debut their all-new 800cc Ninja ZX-RR at the opening race of the season in Qatar, but also, for the first time since Kawasaki returned to the premier class of motorcycle racing, it will be with a complete 'in house' factory team.
This is a major change in the way that Kawasaki go racing. The new team infrastructure is a result of the Japanese manufacturer's recent necessary split from Harald Eckl and the company KMGP, after Kawasaki was confronted with Eckl's serious involvement with a competitor's MotoGP activities, which forced Kawasaki to terminate the relationship immediately.
The Kawasaki Racing Team that will contest the 2007 MotoGP season, with the 800cc Ninja ZX-RR - complete with new engine and chassis - is under the control of Kawasaki's Racing Director, Ichiro Yoda.
While elements of the new look Kawasaki Racing Team will be out in Sepang testing with Randy de Puniet at the end of this month, the remaining team members are busy putting together the equipment, tools and transport necessary for a full-scale assault on the 2007 MotoGP World Championship.
Every member of the new look Kawasaki Racing Team is confident that, come the opening race at the Doha International Circuit in Qatar, they will be ready with a competitive Ninja ZX-RR and a set-up commensurate with that of a factory racing team in the premier series.
"This is a new beginning for Kawasaki. The performance of the new 800cc Ninja ZX-RR during the initial tests has been promising, but we know there is still a lot of development work to do if we are to be competitive from the first race next season." declared Kawasaki's President, Consumer Products & Machinery Company, Tamba.
"I'm pleased to say that the team in the pit box will remain virtually unchanged from this season. This has been a great help, and it has undoubtedly allowed us to progress much faster with building the new team infrastructure. We furthermore highly appreciate the full support from Dorna regarding our new MotoGP structure."
"Last year we fielded the most competitive Ninja ZX-RR since Kawasaki returned to Grand Prix racing at the end of the 2002 season, as Shinya Nakano's second place at Assen proved. But, the overall results in 2006 clearly were not what we were expecting, due, in part, to a lack of dedicated attention from our former Team Manager".
"So, while we know we are facing a tough job to have everything ready for the first race of the 2007 season, we are confident that the strong commitment from the new Team management and the rest of the Team, will lead to an improvement in results for Kawasaki during the season ahead," concluded Tamba.