Since we started Monday off with an ultra hi-res gallery of Valentino Rossi’s 2006 Yamaha YZR-M1, we thought it would be a good bookend to the work-week to conclude with some more hi-res shots of another MotoGP race bike: Randy de Puniet’s 2006 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-RR. One of those bikes that never really shined in MotoGP, the ZX-RR scored only a modest number of podiums before Kawasaki finally bowed-out of MotoGP, mid-championship in 2008.
Leaving Marco Melandri holding the bag, the Kawasaki racing effort lived on in spirit as the Hayate Racing Team, where the team impressed many in the paddock with its results and limited resources. Absent completely from GP racing from 2009 to 2011, the closest we have to Team Green in the premier class now is the Avintia Blusens Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R powered CRT entry, which just took the honors of Top CRT in the Indianapolis GP.
Like Rossi’s 2006 Yamaha, RdP’s Kawasaki probably doesn’t hold the fondest memories for the Frenchman. His first ride in the premier-class, there is at least some irony in the very green rider (experience-wise) riding the Green Machine.
As Kawasaki has faded out of GP racing, and only exists in CRT form, De Puniet has come into his own as a rider, though through unfortunate circumstance has found his underrated riding skills relegated to Team Aspar’s Aprilia ART CRT — instead of factory-supported bike, like the ZX-RR seen here…which, if you haven’t already noticed, is actually a hyper-accurate scale model of the the real thing.
If you had to do a double-take after that last sentence, don’t feel bad — the attention to detail here is amazing. Constructed by Gennaro Zappa (see similar work at Racing Scale Models), the Tamiya-made set comes to life with some amazing paint-work that replicates the fatigue and use of the motorcycle. Faux-carbon fiber, bluing on the exhaust pips, and shading on the motor…Zappa must have the patience of Job.
While we enjoy the bike porn that comes from a true MotoGP bike with its fairings off, somehow the idea that the same effect is being replicated here, in 1:12 scale, makes it that much more drool-worthy. Enjoy the 40+ photos below in the gallery.
Source: Racing Cafe