Kawasaki Ninja ZX Forum banner
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
990 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
From Kawasaki Racing Team
http://www.kawasaki-eckl.com/press/index.asp?saction=Article&sSection=press&id=488

29 Oct 2006
KAWASAKI BID FAREWELL TO SHINYA NAKANO

The final round of the 2006 MotoGP World Championship season at Valencia also marked the end of Shinya Nakano's association with the Kawasaki Racing Team.

While Kawasaki were keen to retain the services of the 29-year-old Japanese rider to develop and race their all-new 800cc Grand Prix machine during the 2007 season, Nakano informed senior Kawasaki staff of his decision to leave the Kawasaki Racing Team during a meeting held immediately after the Japanese Grand Prix.

The Motegi meeting was the culmination of weeks of negotiations between Kawasaki and Nakano's management company but, despite compromises on both sides, Kawasaki were finally unable to secure Nakano's signature on a new contract.

Nakano has enjoyed a successful three year stint with the Kawasaki Racing Team, taking his Ninja ZX-RR to two podium finishes - including a career best second place at this year's Dutch TT at Assen - and finishing top ten in the championship on two occasions.

"Shinya Nakano has been an integral part of Kawasaki's success in recent years, and we are obviously disappointed that we were unable to reach an agreement to retain his services for the future," commented Kawasaki Team Principal, Harald Eckl.

"But, it became increasingly obvious during negotiations that Shinya was looking for a different challenge next year, and that, maybe, the responsibility for developing Kawasaki's new 800cc MotoGP machine was one that he was not prepared to shoulder. We would like to thank Shinya for all his hard work and dedication over the past three seasons, and we wish him the best of luck with his plans for the future."

"Shinya's name has become synonymous with Kawasaki over the past three years, and we were obviously keen to continue the relationship, but, in the end, it just wasn't possible," declared Kawasaki's Racing Director, Kenichi Furuhashi.

"Of course, we wish Shinya the best of luck with his plans for next year, but now we must look to our own future. We have a new 800cc machine to develop for the 2007 season, and this will obviously influence our decision as to which rider we will sign to replace Shinya in the Kawasaki Racing Team."

Shinya Nakano is expected to announce his plans for the 2007 season in the near future.

"I have enjoyed thoroughly my three years with the Kawasaki Racing Team, and I will take with me some happy memories of my time in green," said Shinya Nakano. "The decision to leave was a difficult one for me to make, as both the team and the factory have made me feel very much part of the Kawasaki family during my time riding the Ninja ZX-RR. The same is also true of Kawasaki's loyal fans, who turned out in huge numbers to show their support at every race. But, MotoGP is getting ever more competitive and, sometimes, it takes a new challenge to maintain the motivation required to compete at the very highest level. Fortunately for me, I have been lucky enough to have been offered such a challenge for next year."

"For this, I must say a big thank you to everyone with whom I've worked at Kawasaki, as the successes of the past three years were a direct result of their dedication and professionalism. It goes without saying that I wish Kawasaki every success for the future, although I might change my mind if I find a green machine in front of me too often next season!" concluded Nakano.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
990 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Riders for 2007

KRT link
http://www.kawasaki-eckl.com/press/index.asp?saction=Article&sSection=press&id=489

KAWASAKI COMBINE YOUTH WITH EXPERIENCE FOR 2007 MOTOGP SEASON

The Kawasaki Racing Team will combine youth and experience in their rider line-up for the 2007 season, with former world champion, Olivier Jacque, making his full time return to the MotoGP grid, riding alongside current Kawasaki young gun, and fellow countryman, Randy de Puniet.

The 2007 season will be de Puniet's second with the Kawasaki Racing Team. The 25-year-old Frenchman enjoyed a solid debut year in the MotoGP class with Kawasaki, during which he showed his potential on a number of occasions, whilst also gaining valuable experience with every outing aboard his Ninja ZX-RR.

De Puniet's professional approach to his racing this season, combined with a fierce determination to succeed, was enough to convince Kawasaki Racing Director, Kenichi Furuhashi, that the Frenchman was the right person to lead Kawasaki's assault on the 2007 MotoGP World Championship.

De Puniet is Kawasaki's investment for the future, and by backing up this investment with a seasoned campaigner such as Jacque, Furuhashi-san is confident that the young Frenchman will be able to fully realise his obvious potential next season, as he steps up to fill the team leader's position vacated by Shinya Nakano.

Jacque, whose work as Kawasaki's test and development rider this year has been instrumental in the increasing competitiveness of the Ninja ZX-RR, will make his debut as a full time Kawasaki rider in November, during a planned test at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia where, together with teammate de Puniet, he will participate in the first shakedown tests of the 800cc machine that both Kawasaki pilots will campaign during the 2007 season.

Teaming a young rider like de Puniet with an experienced development rider such as Jacque will pay dividends for Kawasaki next season, with input from both riders accelerating the development of the Japanese manufacturer's 800cc Ninja ZX-RR into a race-winning package.

Randy de Puniet: #17
'My first season in MotoGP is only just finished, but already I'm focussed on what I need to do over the winter so that we hit the start of the new season running. This season has been a difficult one for me; I've been on a very, very steep learning curve and it's been hard to hit the goals I set myself at the beginning of the year. But, I've learnt a lot over the past twelve months, and I hope I will be able to take this information and convert it into improved results next season. This year I was lucky to have a good working relationship with an experienced teammate like Shinya, and I hope that Olivier and I can develop the same open style of working during winter testing. We've yet to test the new 800cc machine, but the general consensus is that the new bikes will be more like a 250cc machine to ride, and I think that will suit both me and Olivier, with our quarter litre experience.'

Olivier Jacque: #19
'For sure I'm very happy to have been given this opportunity by Kawasaki. To be honest, after finishing second in Shanghai one year ago, I was expecting the call up last season. But, the circumstances were not right and the decision was made to go with a young head - but now the old head is back! With a new bike to develop for next season experience will be important, and I'm pleased that Kawasaki view me as the person to help develop their new 800cc Ninja ZX-RR. It is good to have the hard work we've done in developing this season's bike into a competitive package recognised with a full-time ride for the factory team. What feels strange for me is that, despite so many years in Grand Prix racing, this will be the first full factory team I have ridden for since winning the 250cc world title in 2000. I'm certainly looking forward to the challenge ahead, and I can't wait to test the new bike for the first time later this month.'

Kenichi Furuhashi: Racing Director
'Randy has had a solid start to his MotoGP career, and we truly believe he has the potential to be one of the fastest riders in the MotoGP class. In his second year with Kawasaki we need to work closely with Randy to ensure that he has the opportunity to realise fully this potential. I'm confident that he will adapt quickly to the new 800cc machine during winter testing, and that we will see a marked improvement in his race results next season.'

'When it came to replacing Shinya Nakano in the team for next season, Olivier Jacque was the obvious choice for Kawasaki. He has worked tirelessly this year on the development of the current Ninja ZX-RR, and these development skills will be critical to the success of Kawasaki's 800cc machine next year. Also, we have seen from his performances during testing this season that Olivier still has the speed needed to compete in MotoGP. Just as importantly, he is a proven team player, and teamwork will be key to our success next year.'

'For Kawasaki, the new 800cc capacity limit for MotoGP is a welcome change. When we returned to Grand Prix racing in 2002, we were at a disadvantage compared to our factory rivals, who had all amassed a lot of experience during our absence from the premier series. We have learnt a lot in the last four years, which means we will start the 800cc era of MotoGP racing at the same level as our competitors. I hope that, together with our riders, we will have the opportunity to write another chapter in Kawasaki's racing history next year.'
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
This is bad news to me. Neither of the 2 frenchmen have a good history for developing a winning package or even successfully campaigning a winning package someone else has developed. I feel like they will ride over their heads to much making up for the lack development and end up crashing away Kawasaki's chances of a successful 800...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
This is bad news to me. Neither of the 2 frenchmen have a good history for developing a winning package or even successfully campaigning a winning package someone else has developed. I feel like they will ride over their heads to much making up for the lack development and end up crashing away Kawasaki's chances of a successful 800...
Wait and see for "The Frenchies" :nana
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
990 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Last time out in a GP didn't OJ take out Hofmann, who was his 'teammate' in '05?

We have no choice but to wait & see. I just hope that '07 will not end up a disaster for Kawasaki.

Theoretically OJ should be on a similar pace to Nakano as they were very close in 250 BUT he has been out of GP racing for a long while, so he may make more desparate moves like the one that caused the crash with Hofmann. The 800's should suit both riders but will it be enough? Kawasaki are already on the back foot due to the restructuring of the team & the lateness & lack of testing of the 800.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
990 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Kawasaki Racing Team links

BTW the links to kawasaki-eckl no longer work.

I guess Harald isn't on very good terms with Kawasaki now :rolleyes
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top