Kawasaki has now officialy announced its withdrawal from the MotoGP class as a factory.
However, there will still be Kawasakis on the grid in 2009. But differently to what was previously assumed, Jorge Martinez will not take over the team from Kawasaki and make it into a MotoGP Aspar Team. Martinez stated earlier that he will not participate in the project at all cost and that he wanted to stay in the class for at least three years and with a development guarantee from the factory. It seems that Kawasaki was not willing or able to provide that and instead current competition manager Michael Bartholemy will run the team in 2009 with Kawasaki ZX-RRs, together with a guarantee of spare parts and a maintenance agreement.
This way there are again 19 bikes on the grid next season, but with Jorge Martinez out of the picture. With an uncompetitive Kawasaki not an option anymore for 2010, Martinez will continue talks with other factories in order to get one or two MotoGP bikes the following season.
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