MotoGP: Kawasaki boss pledges improvements

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Kawasaki’s MotoGP boss Michael Bartholemy has promised the Japanese factory will make engine improvements to the 2008 ZX-RR after a nightmare Shanghai MotoGP last weekend.

Kawasaki suffered a disastrous Chinese MotoGP clash, with a hard tyre choice proving woefully wrong as John Hopkins could only finish 14th in his 100th premier class appearance.

Aussie team-mate Anthony West was only 17th and while the hard tyre choice contributed largely to the poor result, Bartholemy believes Kawasaki still needs to make a step with the performance of its ZX-RR engine.

Hopkins recently said he was still searching for horsepower improvements from the in-line four-cylinder motor, and Bartholemy said: “Every week when I go to the track I go to win.

“For sure Yamaha has made a big step and we could be better. But this year we have worked on two projects with the Screamer engine.

“We know we have to concentrate on this bike now for the next races and we will not stop. We have a very heavy testing programme, which I believe is more than any other factory.

“We need to improve mainly with engine horsepower. We concentrated a lot on chassis with the Screamer engine.

“We are happy with these parts now and now we have to concentrate on the engine performance a bit. We are not missing much but we need to make a small step.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt