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MOTOGP: Hopper moves to Kawasaki

Discussion in 'Racing, Motorsports, and Track Days' started by Loz, Jul 11, 2007.

  1. Leaving Westy where? I remember hearing, but not seeing it here, that Kwakasaki were looking to run a satellite team to speed up development.
  2. Kawasaki are chasing Capirossi and Melandri for their other factory slot.

    I love Hopper's strategy... Spend 6 years on a Suzuki, then move to the only other factory team incapable of winning races.
  3. Hang on, when I doubted Westy's sanity in leaving Yamaha I was told that Kawasaki were considered to be a team that was only a good rider away from delivering race wins. Hopper is undoubtedly a good rider.
  4. I expect big things of Kwacky next year...esp. if they also sign another top rider. There is also talk of them running 3 or 4 bikes so maybe West will get a shot.
  5. :rofl:

    More or less what I was thinking too. But fingers crossed that Kawasaki are able to develop their bikes to a higher level, then we might see some decent competition happening.
  6. Yeah well they say talk around the paddock puts the ZX-RR up with the Dook... Jerry Burgess is even impressed by it I'm told. But it's something about that green colour, I just can't see it at the front of a pack.

    Who knows, this might be his breakthrough career move. He's sure paid his dues on that awful suzuki over the years. It's just funny that he'd move just as the Suzis seem to be getting competitive.
  7. if Kwaka get Capirossi as well, then it should be a fairly good team. I reckon Hopkins & Capirossi would make a good partnership.

    Hopefully Kawasaki keep giving the money tree a good shake, and continue to spend money on bike development.
  8. This has been on the cards for a while. Hopper’s sponsorship deal with Monster energy drink at the beginning of the season started this talk. Monster sponsor Kawasaki in AMA and motor X in the USA so expect the factory team to have them as a principle sponsor. Plus Monster being American, they would be wanting an American rider on the team. If Capirossi or Marco takes the other seat it seams that West paid a lot of money for half a season in Moto GP. Still a satellite green team could get him a ride. Or a move to Suzuki?

    There’s also news that Lorenzo has signed a pre contract deal to ride a factory Yamaha next year. Also there are rumours that Rossi hates the little tea party git and that it would be two, one rider factory teams with different sponsors. This means Edwards gets bumped but he has said he’d be happy to ride a Tech 3 M1 but only if “it had competitive tiresâ€. Poor old Colin.

    While on the topic of small Spanish riders/dicks, Pedrosa is yet to sign his Honda deal but will most likely do so this weekend
  9. West was only called in to fill in for the rest of the season for injured Jacque (who has since retired), nothing more.

    This stint gives West good international exposure, which is all he wanted, hopefully to be picked up by another team next year.
  10. West still had to pay big dollars to get out of his WSS contract with Yamaha. Don't get me wrong i'm all for him getting picked up by another team if there is not ride for him at Kawasaki, but if he doesn't where to from here? Back to WSS?
  11. Come on, we've seen in a few races this season that the kawa bikes have what it takes, and that whats lacking is rider based, not bike based.
  12. West was well known in MotoGP anyway, he's been there for a long time now. He doesn't need exposure, he needs performances. With the Yamaha he was the 1st in a while to show the Ten Kate bikes how to ride. In the next race or so he will need to extract some major results from the Kawasaki to keep his MotoGP career alive. Whereas he'd already done enough in 3 races with Yamaha WSS to have a ride next year with a top flight team.

    It comes down to why you ride. If he was honest, he probably isn't MotoGP World Champion material, he doesn't have the all round skills the top teams need in order to raise the funds to win championships. Whereas in WSS he was most definitely a winner and when he wins his smile is so wide it makes you happy for him. When he loses, his demeanour isn't all that great.
  13. While that should be the case, perhaps they (Yamaha) had not indicated that in certain enough terms to warrant him staying?
  14. They were very keen to sign him for the rest of the year, made him pay out his contract and were having a winning rider. I would be amazed if he didn't get the warm and fuzzies from that alone.
  15. It sounds to me as though West just wanted a factory ride in the premier class (decent interview on motogp.com), and would do whatever it took.

    Throughout most of his international career he's had second-rate bikes (especially the 500cc), and he realises that he's not getting any younger.
  16. Kawasaki boss in relation to Haydens ride at laguna has indicated a chance/possibility that they will run 3 bikes next season.
  17. Yes, Dorna has put pressure on both Kawasaki and Suzuki to run 3 bikes in 2008.

    Suzuki could run a third bike with the Aspar team, giving them bikes in 125, 250 and MotoGP.
  18. And Rizla Suzuki are apparently going to give Ben Spies a ride on the GSV-R later in the MotoGP season.