Kawasaki celebrate 100 victories in World Superbike
Kawasaki celebrate 100 victories in World Superbike
24 Jun 2017 Others
Sponsored by Moto Animals

Speaking about the World Superbike, a person, who has been interested in this sport for a long time, immediately remembers the constant battles between the best pilots of Honda and Ducati. However, Kawasaki occupies a special place: last weekend the pilots of KRT brought two wins at once, reaching the 100th win.172391594e5b87a080f.jpg

The racing series, founded as the Transcontinental Cup, received the official status of the FIM Superbike World Championship in 1988, which means that this season it will be held for the 30th time. During its 30-year history WSBK has become a truly world championship, having visited the United States, Russia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Australia, Qatar, Thailand, South Africa, and, of course, almost all countries of Europe - from Germany to Portugal.

The championship regulations gave participants great opportunities for modification of road bikes, mainly 750 cc “japas”, as they were called in America. Honda, Yamaha and Kawasaki started the fight immediately, following Ducati. Superbikes became popular, because they did not require a lot of money to produce complex, specially created RACING ONLY prototypes.

However, just a few years after the start, the "race of engines" began in the WSBK: Honda realized that 1000 cc V-Twins have a significant advantage over the 750 cc 4-cylinder in-line engines.

Until then the participants were equal, although Ducati (which were originally equipped with V-Twin 1000 cc) traditionally occupied higher positions.332556594e592d672ba.jpg

Adrien Morillas took the debut victory for Kawasaki onboard the GPX 750 in the inaugural season of WorldSBK, at the legendary Hungaroring in 1988. The Frenchman only secured the one victory for the manufacturer, but his name will permanently be in the history books. In the debut season, the winners and brands changed at every finish line: David Tardotstsi won the very first WSBK race at Bimota, the second - Marco Lucchinelli on the Ducati 851, Fred Merkel on the Honda RC30 won the first race at Hungaroring, and Moryas won the second one: four finishes - four different pilots and motorcycles!687900594e59aa82560.png

Americans were always wanted by the strongest teams, because they had more experience in completing and piloting of Superbikes: the World Superbike was founded in 1988, and the national series of America and Britain, including Isle of Man TT, had already been popular, and "superbikes" were originated there. On the basis of Kawasaki there were built a lot of powerful, competitive machines for local racing, even in Australia.

Doug Chandler on the ZXR750 took two victories at Brainerd and Sugo in 1990, increasing the collection of Kawasaki gold awards. After two rounds the Australians Robbie Phillis and Aaron Slight had changed the number of ZXR victories to seven.281824594e59c979ae6.jpg

1993-1994 World Superbike champion Scott Russell spent six seasons making appearances with the green machines. In his most successful season, he was also able to put his name to their 10th victory at Brno in 1993’s race two. In the next 12 months the score of victories was doubled. In total, Russell guided Kawasaki to 14 of their 100 victories in the series with the ZXR 750.

The next page of the Kawasaki history in the World Superbike is connected with Anthony Gobert, another fast Australian, who set up his own team in 1994 and won his first race on the ZXR 750 in the series finale, at the Phillip Island Circuit. The home track became lucky for the pilot and brought him 3 more gold cups. Gobert also won at Laguna Seca - twice, in 1995 and 1996 onboard the new Kawasaki ZX-7RR.593469594e59e3e03ea.jpg

1997 was the victory year of Japanese pilots on the ZX-7RR Kawasaki Racing. Exactly then the manufacturer project was presented on the world stage. Akira Yanagawa brought Kawasaki three wins.

However, the next few years were really hard for Japanese manufacturer. Only in 1999 Hitoyasu Izutsu won at Sugo, as well as in 2000. After that there was a long pause for 6 years.766362594e59fef1b69.jpg

The green flag with black and white stripes has flashed over the paddock of the World Superbike again, thanks to the efforts of private racing teams in the mid-2000s. Chris Walker on the Kawasaki ZX-10R of the PSG-1 Kawasaki Corse team, which had some manufacturer support after folding the Kawasaki Racing program, briefly ended the drought in 2006 at Assen. But since the private racing teams did not fight, they could not resist the Ducati, Suzuki and Yamaha projects.822782594e5a230fb1a.jpg

Tom Sykes became a symbol of the revival of the Kawasaki Racing Team as it was known in 2000. Sykes brought the Japanese manufacturer a long-awaited victory after 5 years of failures and losses, it happened in 2011 at Nurburgring. Then he took the first place in the next season, in Monza, setting at the same time a new speed record and a record of passing a lap. In 2012, Sykes took three more wins, and one he gave to his partner, Loris Baz. As you probably remember, Tom didn’t get the title because of the lack of only 0.5 points.384590594e5a482bc47.jpg

2013 was led by Tom Sykes and his improved Kawasaki ZX-1oRR Ninja. The motorcycle had been renovated for three years, two of which with the Barcelona based Provec Kawasaki Racing Team, working on it. Tom won 9 races, giving Baz the 10th. Another 8 victories Sykes brought Kawasaki in 2014, but he couldn’t hold the title.

Taking a stunning 31 victories for the green manufacturer, Sykes took their 50th and 75th victory overall putting his name down as a pivotal rider in their WorldSBK history. Thanks to that he got his lifetime contract.

The situation in the team changed dramatically after signing Jonathan Rea: at first Sykes and Ray were fighting with each other, trying to prove who is number one, so they often appeared on the podium together. But Jonathan Ray dominated this fight. As the result, the British pilots began to work together aimed at the Kawasaki results.335668594e5b770ba36.jpg

Jonathan Rea just 2 years in Kawasaki has brought more wins than Sykes (30) finally, bringing the score to 100 in Donington Park on may 28, 2017.

The modern history of Kawasaki is inextricably connected with the World Superbike, as it was with Honda and Ducati. But now just Kawasaki produces an updated top product for roads and races annually - a series of motorcycles Ninja ZX-RR.
#Kawasaki #Bike #Moto #Racing #Race

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