Kawasaki reflects on Australian Season 2007
The 2007 racing season has come to its end and Kawasaki Racing Team is refl ecting on what has been a season of highs, lows and everything in between
The 2007 racing season has come to its end and Kawasaki Racing Team is refl ecting on what has been a season of highs, lows and everything in between.
After recording the Team’s best result of the 2007 season at the final Australian Superbike Championship Round in August, both Kawasaki pilots, Shannon Johnson and Wayne Maxwell, held high spirits as they prepared to tackle the notoriously unpredictable MotoGP event at Phillip Island, on 11-13 October 2007. Victoria’s iconic Phillip Island didn’t fail to entertain guests with its infamous weather conditions. Riders were forced to juggle between the wet and dry race conditions which proved challenging for Teams over the weekend.
Johnson took advantage of the perfect track conditions on Thursday, qualifying his ZX-6R on the front row of the Supersport grid and his ZX-10R on row two of the Superbike grid. Maxwell wasn’t far behind, neatly qualifying both green machines for row two starts in both classes. Maxwell consistently posted top ten results throughout the weekend’s racing, finishing ninth overall on the Supersport and eighth in the Superbike class. Johnson’s result onboard the Superbike was hindered after placing outside the top ten in Race One, as he struggled to find the right race set-up to handle the wet to dry track conditions.
In Race Two and Three and in clear weather conditions, the 26 year old Victorian was back up in the top ten – finishing in seventh and sixth place. Johnson finished fifth overall onboard the Supersport and tenth in the Superbike class. KRT Manager, Dave Cullen, reflects on a season that started at the Team’s home track at Eastern Creek in February and returned six months later for the final Championship Round, posting Round wins onboard both the ZX-10R and ZX-6R.
“The 2007 season really was a mixed bag for KRT,” said Cullen. “We had a slow start to the season, but continued to build momentum as each Round went on. With each race we made good progress developing our machines, ultimately finishing the final Round of the Championship on a great high. “In the overall Championship standings, Johnson and Maxwell finished the Superbike Championship in ninth and seventh place and the Supersport Championship in fourteenth and sixth. The standout result for our season was obviously the final Round in August. Having both Kawasaki riders standing on the top step of the podium was a fantastic climax to what has been a season of highs and lows."
“At the start of the season, we were really having to work hard to stay within the top ten, but as racing went on the Team continued to gel together and post promising results. “Unfortunately as Shannon and the Team achieved their first podium result for the season at Mallala, Shannon was involved in another rider’s accident – breaking his hand. This obviously restricted his performance for the remainder of the event and the following Round. “When he did look to be back in good shape at the double header event at Queensland, misfortune again struck when a leading rider went down and Shannon’s hand was again broken. This was a difficult time for Shannon and the Team as each time we looked to be building momentum we had unfortunate interruptions.”
“Maxwell was consistently up amongst the top ten riders throughout the season, showing promise onboard both race machines. His determination and drive all season earned him top honours on the Supersport podium at Eastern Creek which was well deserved. In 2007, the ZX-6R Supersport was an all new Model and with the progress we have made testing and racing this year, we look forward to further success in 2008. We anticipate that 2008 will be another exciting year for the Team, with the introduction of the all new race based ZX-10R Superbike. The promising new Model is launched later this year and KRT will receive new race bikes in late December. This will give us a couple of months to prepare them for their Australian debut at the World Superbike Championship at Phillip Island in early March. “
KRT would like to thank our very supportive Team Sponsors and Technical Partners; Silkolene, NGK, Goodridge, AFAM, Akrapovic, Kincrome, Swimming With Sharks, DC Chains and Dunlop. KRT has received endless support and encouragement from our partners and their teams. Everyone’s ongoing support in 2007 has played an integral role in KRT’s racing success and Kawasaki looks forward to continuing our association in 2008.