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..."