Kawasaki to Quit MotoGP

The global economic crisis seems to have struck the FIM Road Racing World Championship as well. As reported by, Japanese manufacturer Kawasaki looks set to announce their immediate retirement from the sport the very next week. The news is yet to be confirmed by the Kawasaki officials, as well as the team's two riders for 2009 Marco Melandri and John Hopkins.

The same source reveals that Kawasaki will hold a press conference or release a quick statement on January 5th to announce their withdrawing intentions for 2009. If such a decision is made, Melandri and Hopkins will have little time to look elsewhere for a job in the upcoming season, especially since all teams inside the MotoGP have already secured their lineups for next year.

A short reaction to the news came from Melandri himself, as the Italian seemed to neither confirm nor deny the latest news.

“I have to wait and hear some words, as at the moment I hear nothing (about whether Kawasaki will withdraw). If it is true, then I can only hope that when I wake up on January 1st it is all a nightmare,” quoted Melandri as saying.

Kawasaki has had a terrible season in the MotoGP in 2008, finishing last in the constructors' standings and being unable to challenge for a podium position all year. However, the poor results were not the only reason behind the Japanese officials' decision to reconsider their presence in the MotoGP, the high budget needed to support an uncompetitive team for yet another season contributing as well.

Kawasaki's withdrawal would come only weeks away after team owner Fausto Gresini had urged the International Motorcycle Federation (FIM) to come up with a plan similar to FIA's for reducing costs inside the sport.
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