2011 WSBK Team Preview: Kawasaki (KRT)
With an all-new Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R to promote via World Superbike racing in 2011, Kawasaki has pulled out all the stops by entering three full factory motorcycles, two for the Kawasaki Racing Team and one for the Kawasaki Racing Team Superbike side of the garage.
All three official machines will be looked after by the UK-based Paul Bird Motorsports Team, now seasoned World Superbike runners in their own right.
Prior to that PBM had proved to be glory-laden BSB competitors, before the full-time move to WSBK as privateers in 2008. Since 2009 PBM has been Kawasaki’s official squad in WSBK racing.
In the KRT World Superbike element of the overall drive for success in 2011, Chris Vermeulen and Joan Lascorz join forces, with Tom Sykes the lone rider in the other arm of the official Kawasaki presence.
The background effort from Kawasaki Heavy Industries has been immense in the build up to 2011 and the expectation that soon Kawasaki will be back to championship challenging level is building with each test session, despite the continued absence of the recuperating Vermeulen.
The team’s rookie rider Joan Lascorz has already shown great promise in testing as he recovers from his own 2010 season injury woes, which has meant the bulk of the development on the new race bike has fallen to Tom Sykes, who has ridden to the challenge manfully.
From the Kawasaki factory side Mr Ichiro Yoda is in overall charge of operations, with the day-to-day elements under the control of PBM’s Paul Risbridger, the Team Manager.
Like their peers, the next outing for the KRT riders will be at Phillip Island, in the official IMS tests between Feb. 21-22.