"I can only hope to wake up on January first and discover it was all a nightmare," commented Marco Melandri, Kawasaki's new acquisition in 2009. Instead, unfortunately for Melandri, is the pure reality. "Monday - reveals Alberto Vergani, manager of the Italian driver - I was called by Michael Bartholemy (the team manager of Kawasaki,), which he anticipated that in a few days from Japan announced it was withdrawing."
A letter, which is arrived yesterday morning, all men of the team and the two pilots - Melandri and John Hopkins - received an email in which it explained that due to the economic crisis, the Kawasaki had decided to leave, now, the MotoGP, the maximum expression of motorcycling racing. A nasty surprise for the men in green and, more generally, throughout the motomondiale, already for several years in serious difficulty in filling the starting grid. By contract, the Dorna, the Spanish company which runs the championship, should deploy a minimum of 18 motorcycles, but with the withdrawal of the two Japanese is hardly 17. And the Kawasaki might not be an isolated case, because even the Suzuki, already out of the rally,it is in difficulty breathing and, most importantly,the private teams are not able any more to sustain the costs of a racing season course the exorbitant costs - about 10 million euros per season for a team with two pilots - but rather by poor economic returns. Not surprisingly, the team Pramac, of Paolo Campinoti which operates two Ducati, is trying to divert one of its pilots, the novice NiccolÃ² Canepa, to the Spanish team of Angel Nieto, who in 2009 will run the falling Sete Gibernau, while Fausto Gresini, for years the owner of one of the best private team of the class, calls for an immediate reduce costs from the organizer. According to the former twice world champion in the 125,they should immediately replace the brakes with carbon steel, thus lowering costs 300,000 euros to 50,000, eliminating one of two muletto ', or the second motion available to pilots , And limit the supply of engines.
Assumptions and proposals, but that does not cut across the Kawasaki. Even so, as in the case of Honda in F1, the world economic crisis seems an excuse seized on the fly to cover the total lack of results, well below expectations.
For Kawasaki Heavy Industries bikes represent a very low turnover and Japan consider foolish to invest a lot of money to fight for positions flange. For 2009, the outlook seemed more interesting, because uncompetitive ZX-RR has been completely redesigned and, above all, was hired a pilot of absolute value as Melandri. But, of course, 2008 is not the year of Marco, who after having failed miserably with the Ducati world champion, is found now on foot when all games are made.
While continuing, the former world champion in the 250 is ready to run free and has already offered to Gresini, with whom he held from 2005 to 2007 and was in negotiation for 2009. Then, however, some 'surprise Marco had chosen the Kawasaki, attract the possibility of working for an official house rather than a private team.
A choice that now threatens to turn into the end of his career.