Kawasaki Dominance Bad for WorldSBK

Rennie Scaysbrook | December 11, 2018

Kawasaki Dominance Bad for WorldSBK—Kawasaki’s four-straight WorldSBK Championships in the hands of Ulsterman Jonathan Rea, and the level of Kawasaki’s involvement in the championship, is bad for the series, according to Yamaha Racing boss Lin Jarvis.

“I think the Yamaha program has stepped up and this year we saw Michael [van der Mark] finally achieve third in the championship,” said Jarvis told motorsport.com.

Kawasaki Dominance Bad for WorldSBK

Kawasaki Dominance Bad for WorldSBK
Jarvis still believes Superbike racing has value to Yamaha but knows they need to stop the Kawasaki Racing Team first.

“I still think that the involvement of Kawasaki is really the dominating factor more than anything else in Superbike, and whilst I give full credit to them for their victories and their multiple championships, at the same time I think that dominant involvement really doesn’t favor the show.

“Anyway, Yamaha is committed to Superbike, next year there are two teams in Superbike, one official [Crescent Racing] and one independent, factory-supported team [GRT].

“Superbike is still relevant and important, but I think that the competition and the playing field needs to be equal for all manufacturers.”

Kawasaki only competes in WorldSBK, having pulled their MotoGP program a decade ago, and with Rea riding at the peak of his form, it’s been happy days for the Japanese company in the top production racing championship in the world. But that could change in 2019 with the arrival of Alvaro Bautista and the new Ducati Panigale V4 R in the series.

“Unfortunately, the Panigale V2 was not able to win a championship but we have lot of hopes for the new Panigale V4 R,” said Ciabatti to motorsport.com. “Definitely we are committed.

“As Lin was saying, for sure Kawasaki is only taking part in the Superbike championship, it is putting a big effort, and they have a fantastic rider like Jonathan Rea.

“But next year our expectation is to be able to challenge them for the championship until the last race.”

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Rennie Scaysbrook | Road Test Editor Rennie Scaysbrook is our Road Test Editor. A lifetime rider, the Aussie made the trek across the Pacific to live the dream in the U.S. of A. Likes puppies and wheelies.