Official announcement: Kawasaki Racing to withdraw from Suzuka 8hr 2023
The Kawasaki WorldSBK Team has announced that it will not participate in the prestigious Suzuka 8hr 2023, which will be held at the legendary Japanese circuit in August. After careful consideration of various options in terms of riders and logistics, and taking into account the implications of an additional test program alongside the regular testing that forms part of the WorldSBK commitment, it has been decided with Kawasaki Motors Ltd that the official factory team will not compete this year.
Background: Of triumph and disappointment
This decision was by no means taken lightly and follows a victory by the KRT team in collaboration with KHI, Team Green and Kawasaki Motors Corp. Japan in 2019 and a surprising and disappointing result in the controversial and complicated Suzuka 8hr event in 2022, where the team came close to winning.
Team manager explains decision
Guim Roda, team manager of KRT, shed light on the strategy and emotions behind the announcement. “Competing at the Suzuka 8hr requires time and commitment from a vast number of people. It might look similar to Superbike racing – and we even use Superbike riders like Johnny and Alex – but this race is like no other and requires its own testing and preparation programme on top of what we already do in WorldSBK. Just about everything is different and everyone needs to take time to adapt to different technical and performance parameters for this one race. To compete at the highest level and have success snatched from your hands is not easy to adjust to so we will not appear on the grid this year. Our 2023 focus at KRT is now 100% WorldSBK . We wish all competitors and teams involved in the 2023 race an exciting and safe event.”
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