News 26 Feb 2009

Racing Insider #39

Melandri and his 'Kawasaki' team will likely test in Qatar before their fate is decided. The team will be run by Ichiro Yoda if it does go ahead.


Melandri will likely test, but Bartholemy won't be involved

Melandri will likely test, but Bartholemy won't be involved

Reports from Europe are speculating the future of Marco Melandri and his unnamed former Kawasaki MotoGP team, with various sources now indicating that Ichiro Yoda will in-fact be running the team – Yoda is the former Kawasaki technical director and he has sourced selected members of the team from last year.

Italian reports have Melandri testing at the upcoming Qatar test and then a decision will be made to decide his and the team’s fate. Following Oliver Jacque’s praise for the 2009 model ZX-RR in his Australian tests in January, nobody is really sure if the bikes will be competitive or not. Another big question mark is if Melandri will continue to bounce back from his dreadful season last year.

The fact that Kawasaki is taking part in the test at all, well Kawasaki’s old team and bikes, is a promising outcome and much better than them walking away altogether. Besides, sponsorship in MotoGP seems to be remaining attractive for those who are competitive, just ask Suzuki after Rizla re-signed following their strong showing in Sepang.

World Superbike

Superbikes at Phillip Island start tomorrow, opening up the new season which is set to be absolutely amazing with many tough competitors all ready to fight for the world title that Troy Bayliss is relinquishing in his retirement. We’ll be down there amongst the action to bring the breaking news as it comes.

Apologies for the short post here today as we pack up and get ready to fly out in the morning for the WSBK and Australian Superbike Championship openers. We’ll check in tomorrow from the Island. Check back for more in the weekend of Moto Online’s official launch.