Jan 9, 2009

Sport - MotoGP;Kawasaki pulls out of MotoGP championship

TOKYO: Kawasaki announced on Friday that it will withdraw from the 2009 MotoGP world championship, citing the global economic downturn.

Kawasaki, which has participated in MotoGP since 2003, finished last among the five manufacturers taking part in the 2008 MotoGP world championship.

"Kawasaki Heavy Industries will suspend participation in 2009 MotoGP championship," the company said in statement. "Due to the influence of the global economic crises we have had to reevaluate our business structure."

Three other Japanese motorcycle manufacturers—Honda, Yamaha, and Suzuki—are expected to continue participating in the event.

The decision by Kawasaki follows the withdrawal of Honda from Formula One last year, and Subaru and Suzuki from the World Rally Championship.

Americans John Hopkins and Jamie Hacking raced with the Kawasaki Racing Team last season along with Australian Anthony West.

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