Kawasaki To Come Back Under Another Name?

The Kawasaki saga just refuses to lay down and die. As silence continues to envelop the project, and most parties regarding Kawasaki's participation in MotoGP as being consigned to the history books, fresh rumblings are starting to appear. The usually well-informed Italian site GPOne.com is reporting that the bikes will now be appearing on the grid, but without the Kawasaki name on their tanks.

The program would not be run by Michael Bartholemy, however. The Belgian had been in extensive talks with Kawasaki, and had come tantalisingly close to a deal. But though the Akashi factory had been supportive of Bartholemy's efforts, in the end, the deal fell through.

Instead, according to GPOne.com, it is Carmelo Ezpeleta himself who has picked up the gauntlet. The Spaniard is apparently working directly with the team to get the bikes back on the grid, though no details of riders, team personnel or any other information is available at the moment.

The likelihood is, however, that these rumblings are little more than wild fantasy. Ezpeleta has a vested interest in having the world believe that he will have a full grid (in the case of MotoGP, that would mean at least 18 bikes), and so leaks to the press about a rescue package should be taken with a pinch of salt. As for whether the Kawasakis (or whatever they get called in the end) actually line up at Qatar or not, we can only echo the words of GPOne's Alberto Cani: "We shall see..."

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When last we saw KR, they had a competitve frame, but  a weak engine. 

When last we saw Kawasaki, they had a strong engine, but an uncompetitive frame.

Perhaps someone at Monster could do this math, since Ilmor hasn't taken the hint...

Even if this doesn't eventuate, the thought processes through which Expostfacto would be going through might open his mind to more inventive ways to create opportunities for 'bitzer' bikes to enter the lists with some hope of a little success.

The jump from specialist frames with strictly non-production-part engines to specialist frames with mixed componentry - but still not 'commercially-available' - engines is not so great. Perhaps FIM could take the role of highly-interested mediator and get Ezpeleta and the Flammini brothers around a table and thrash out compromises to keep boats afloat? - or are winged pigs still an elusive concept....

Sportmediaset.it is reporting that rumors continue to swirl about the proposed Kawasaki/notKawasaki team. Word is that Dorna will be footing the bill, at least partially, a test has been arranged on the QT at Sepang to assess the competitiveness of the machinery and the test rider will be none other than Marco Melandri. Who says off-seasons are dull?

Superbikeplanet.com is runnning a story saying that Marco Melandri has agreed to ride the ex-Kawasaki bikes.

Announcement due this afternoon.

Soup is calling the bikes "Dornasaki"

Man, it would be great to get Kenny Roberts' team back in the paddock. I just wonder if he is even interested anymore...?