Kawasaki’s involvement in the new Hayate MotoGP project will be severely reduced by the end of March, MCN has learned.
The Japanese factory will only develop new parts for the Hayate, which is a re-branded factory Kawasaki ZX-RR, until the final winter test session of 2009 in Jerez on March 28/29.
After that, Kawasaki’s only involvement in the Hayate project, which is staffed entirely by former factory Kawasaki staff, will be to carry out maintenance on the engines during the season.
That means the bike Italian Marco Melandri will ride during the Jerez test in Spain will be the bike he will have to campaign for the entire 2009 season, with no new parts being supplied.
Hayate team manager and Melandri’s crew chief Andrea Dosoli told MCN: “We have all the conditions to move forward for 2009. Kawasaki will supply the bike and the spare parts and take care of engine maintenance.
"We will have development until the end of March and then it will stop or be reduced quite a lot.
"For sure the wish of any engineer is to develop the bike during the year but we have some budget reduction and that is the main reason why they suspended their racing activity. But we have enough parts to run for the whole season.
"We just won’t have any updates once Kawasaki scales down its involvement at the end of the month.”
The Hayate team was formed after Kawasaki opted to quit the MotoGP world championship in early January because of the global economic crisis.
It will run Melandri having committed to run only one bike, which has left American John Hopkins out in the cold.
The former factory Suzuki rider though has again been linked with a move to the Stiggy Honda squad in the World Superbike championship.