Dorna boss hopeful Kawasaki ‘private’ team will race in 2009

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Dorna boss Carmelo Ezpeleta is confident that Kawasaki will have some involvement in the 2009 MotoGP world championship, despite today’s announcement its factory team would not race next season.

Although Kawasaki will have no direct factory involvement in 2009 after the Japanese factory quit because of the global economic crisis, Ezpeleta believes a private team could takeover the project and field the ZX-RR bikes.

As it stands, Kawasaki’s departure drops the entry list down to 17 bikes and also leaves John Hopkins and Marco Melandri without a ride.

But one of the topics up for discussion when Ezpeleta staged crisis talks with Kawasaki senior management in Japan yesterday (Thursday) was the option of running a privately run Kawasaki team.

“First of all, I would like to clarify the fact that what Kawasaki has suspended is its MotoGP racing activities through its factory team,´ stressed Ezpeleta.

“We had a meeting in Osaka on Thursday where Kawasaki explained their problems and the difficulties they had with continuing as a factory team. Under these circumstances we agreed to cooperate collectively, in order to find a possible solution to their problems which may allow them to continue as a privateer team.”

It has been strongly rumoured that Ezpeleta has been trying to engineer a deal between Kawasaki and high profile 125 and 250 team boss Jorge ‘Aspar’ Martinez. Kawasaki team boss Michael Bartholemy has also been linked with a rescue bid, but contrary to reports he has not visited Japan for talks this week.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt