After taking bids from teams to obtain factory backing for the 2012 World Superbike season, Kawasaki has narrowed the choices down to two teams, and will likely announce its decision next week. This season the embattled Paul Bird Motorsports team has had factory backing for riders Chris Vermeulen, Joan Lascorz, and Tom Sykes, though the results have not been spectacular, and Vermeulen has spent much of the season recovering from injuries.
With Kawasaki second to last in the Championship, the factory entertained bids from satellite Team Pedericini, the current Alstare Suzuki squad, the Supersonic Ducati team, British Superbike team MSS Colchester, and Kawasaki factory World Supersport’s Provec Motocard team. Now, the process has been narrowed down to two of those bids.
“At this stage we are still discussing the situation and I have meetings with Project Leader Ichiro Yoda today,” said Kawasaki European Race Planning Manager Steve Gutteridge on Friday. He continued, “What I can say is that both Alstare and Pedercini have been told that they have not been successful so it’s between Paul Bird Motorsport and Provec.”
That announcement thus leaves the current Kawasaki WSBK and WSS teams battling over factory backing in WSBK for next season. The decision is running a bit late, as Yoda said in July, “We’ll make our decision in August because we want to start development early.” With riders David Salom and Broc Parkes currently second and fourth, respectively, in the WSS championship, Provec is proving stronger in its category than PBM is in WSBK. As such, Lascorz is the highest-ranked Kawasaki rider in WSBK, eleventh in the championship.