Following last week’s round of MotoGP team reveals, Kawasaki Racing Team (KRT) follows suit with its reveal of 2019 FIM World Superbike Championship bikes, graphics, and team.
This year, KRT hopes to extend its consecutive championship dominance with record-breaking four-time champion, Jonathan Rea, aboard the latest race specification of the Ninja ZX-10RR. Newly signed for this season, and serving as Rea’s team mate is Leon Haslam.
KRT’s new livery features the support of Motocard, Elf Total, Monster Energy and Showa prominently displayed, alongside other valued commercial and technical partners.
KRT chose to reveal the 2019 team in Australia this year, shortly before the opening round at Phillip Island on Feb. 22-24, as opposed to its typical reveal in Barcelona, Spain.
The team has recently concluded winter testing in Europe at the end of January. It now looks forward to two days of official tests for all WorldSBK competitors, at Phillip Island from Monday Feb. 18-19. The season also features a new format to the race weekend, featuring three WorldSBK races and not two.
“KRT always push the boat out when it comes to launching the new colors and it is the first time you see your final bike in the flesh. Everything is real and now we turn the page to 2019… It is nice to do the launch here in Australia, and so close to the first race weekend,” said Rea.
“To be part of such a professional team, and to see the manufacturer itself and Kawasaki Australia putting on such a massive show, is fantastic. They are really getting behind it. I just want to get going now,” said Haslam.
“The theme today is Ganbarou – we will face our challenges and try harder. In 1995 a devastating earthquake hit Kobe, close to the Kawasaki manufacturing plant in Akashi. It was a difficult time but we said “Ganbarou” – we will face our challenges with a smile and we will rebuild we will try harder and do our best. For the Kawasaki Racing Team 2018 was one of our most difficult years so far. We were under huge pressure. The fans and media naturally expected more championship success, yet our Ninja ZX-10RR was a victim of its own success as new rules were adopted to help other teams reach the high level of Kawasaki. Our Ninja Spirit – and the dedication of the team, loyal fans and riders – saw us prevail with a fourth consecutive world title for Jonathan Rea plus another manufacturer and team title. This is the racing definition of Ganbarou – we will compete and, whatever the circumstances, we will try our best,” said Shigemi Tanaka, Managing Director of Kawasaki Motors Australia.
“We have a bike with a new more capable engine and we have reinforced our technical and human assets to take advantage of this,” said Guim Roda, KRT Team Manager.