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Dec 3, 2004

Kipp, McBride To Race With Kawasaki In 2005 Parts Canada Superbike Series

From a press release issued by Canadian Kawasaki Motors, Inc.:<BR><BR>KAWASAKI RACING TEAM: SETTING THE SIGHTS ON 2005<BR><BR>Canadian Kawasaki Racing is looking for a big payoff in 2005. Much has changed in the past five years with this year's team looking stronger than ever. With a new race shop that was finalized in the spring of 2004, an experienced team of technicians and two new exciting race bikes, the team has great momentum coming into the 2005 Canadian Superbike Series.<BR><BR>In addition to a solid foundation and strong resources, Canadian Kawasaki has re-signed Tom Kipp for the 2005 season. The Ohio native raced for Kawasaki during the 2003 season and was expected to race in 2004 but made a last minute decision to retire and concentrate on his post secondary education. With graduation on the horizon, Kipp has made the decision to return to the Kawasaki team.<BR><BR>"It is very important for me to do my job well", said Kipp reflecting on his retirement. "Both my education, which is preparing me for pastoral ministry, and racing. They require a huge commitment and it was in my best interest to back off at the end of 2003 and get refocused. Taking the time off enabled me to step up my course load as well as my graduation date. I graduate this May and plan to enroll into a Chicago based seminary in the fall. The way I see it, my summer is now open, giving me the opportunity to again team up with my friends at Kawasaki to pursue a 2005 Canadian championship. I would love to help Canadian Kawasaki enjoy another winning season."<BR><BR>Tom Kipp is an outstanding individual, with a keen insight and proven knowledge of road racing. "I have kept in close contact with the team throughout this past season," explained Kipp. "I feel the team is stronger than ever and 2005 will be a great opportunity to campaign the new bikes at full potential. I missed working with these guys and I'm happy to be back."<BR><BR>Tom Kipp's return is very timely now that Kawasaki's rookie Matt McBride is on the rise. Kipp is known for his generous attitude towards fellow racers and his ability to coach should prove invaluable to young McBride.<BR><BR>"Tom is a great guy," says twenty-year-old McBride. "I'm really happy he's back on the team. He's got so much racing knowledge and he really wants to pass it on. It's going to be a great year with Tom."<BR><BR>The Kawasaki team will also see a change in management during the 2005 season. Karl Steyrer will move up from suspension technician to crew chief.<BR><BR>"Karl was working with the team last year as our suspension technician," said team manager Jeff Comello. "This year we have moved him into a management position overseeing the team at the shop and at trackside locations. He will also be overseeing the suspension development for the Canadian Kawasaki Motors race team."<BR><BR>"It's a challenge–that is the main reason I took it on," said Steyrer of his new position. "I think the Kawasaki bikes have great potential under the Canadian rules. We're looking to have a good year next year and I think we have the riders and the people to do it."<BR><BR>The Kawasaki team has testing planned all winter and will venture south of the border to perfect the setup of the new ZX-6RR and ZX-10R in anticipation of the first race on May 20, 2005 in Shannonville.