Kawasaki’s official WorldSBK team has announced that it will not apply for an entry to the 2023 Suzuka 8hr event due to be held at the iconic Japanese track in August.
Having discussed all the options in terms of riders and logistics – plus considered the impact of a dedicated test programme in addition to the current testing that is part of its WorldSBK commitments – the team consulted with Kawasaki Motors Ltd. and the two jointly decided that the official factory team will not appear this year.
It is not a decision that has been taken lightly and follows a win for KRT in cooperation with KHI, Team Green and Kawasaki Motors Corp. Japan in 2019 contrasted with the unwelcome and unexpected result of coming so close to victory in a complicated, controversial, and ultimately disappointing 2022 event.
KRT Team Manager, Guim Roda explained the strategy and the emotion 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.”