As far as Kawasaki is concerned, the proposal to go to World Superbike specs for the headlining U.S. class may give the manufacturer a place to do what it wants to do in racing develop its motorcycles. “I’m gonna go back to what we told DMG, anyone, everyone who was listening or trying to listen,” says Bruce Stjernstrom, Director of Marketing for Kawasaki Motors Corp. USA. “We want to race against the best riders and teams that’s important for the show, for everyone involved. And we want to be able to develop our machines because that’s important to our company. “Our 2008 ZX-10R the development of that bike came through racing, here, in Europe, in Japan. Without the possibility of doing that, what do we use as a means to develop product? And secondly, would racing be that important to us anymore? If we can’t use racing to develop the product, it’s like buying media (exposure). Now you’re competing against buying TV, buying commercials. Being able to develop motorcycles on the track is a critical component as to why we invest in racing.” Racing to develop product might seem to go counter to the trend in World Superbike and elsewhere to limit costs and development by going to lower-spec bikes. Stjernstrom says that Kawasaki’s interest in racing would depend on what types of specs would be dialed back. “I think it depends on what they’re limiting. If they’re talking about restricting the engines, that’s one thing. The chassis is really where the majority of the development takes place. And the electronics are closely related to the chassis,” Stjernstrom says. “Spec fuel, if it’s a good fuel, keeps the engine running decently, we don’t have a problem with that,” he says. “Spec tires, it’s not the end of it with us, but you’ve got the tire guys who are investing a lot of money in the sport do you want to lose them? And the aftermarket we look at that as a big part of our industry. We should make sure they have a place to do their thing. “Everyone needs to get out of it what they want to get out of it. We want a place to develop our products, the tire companies want a place to develop their products, the aftermarket wants a place to develop its products this is what keeps the sport healthy. “Significantly restricting people’s ability to build parts, develop parts, improve concepts it’s a big departure from where we’ve been. We believe that one of the shortcomings of our current road racing program is the lack of development of young riders 12, 13, 14 15. If you want good racing, you’ve got to develop young talent.”
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