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Kawasaki riders confident and ready for season opener

May 30, 2007

Following two exemplary pre-season test sessions, the Canadian Kawasaki Factory Road Race Team is set to defend their Yoshimura PRO600 title and the Parts Canada Superbike Championship. Look for the Kawasaki team at the front of the pack as Round 1 of the 2007 season gets underway May 31st at Le-Circuit Mont Tremblant.

The Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R and the all-new ZX-6R have been pounding the pavement at pre-season testing in the USA and more recently at Shannonville Motorsport Park, Ontario.

Last season’s champion, 28 year old Brantford, Ontario native Jordan Szoke and his new team-mate, 15 year old Brett “The Kid” McCormick of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan have looked extremely sharp. Szoke won the Superbike Feature event of the R.A.C.E. Super Series at Shannonville during the Victoria Day weekend aboard the ZX-10R while McCormick impressed many by staying with the lead pack and finishing fourth. In the Parts Canada Pro 600 Sport Bike race Szoke, the number 1 plate in the 600cc category grabbed an early lead piloting the ZX-6R and claimed second position. McCormick was once again near the front but mechanical gremlins forced him to slow down and yet still finished an impressive fourth.

Kawasaki Team Manager, Jeff Comello was more than satisfied with the pre-season testing program and is excited about the prospects for the upcoming event at Mont-Tremblant. “The Shannonville test really couldn’t have gone much better.”

We lowered both our 600cc and Superbike race times despite less than optimal conditions. In fact, both riders were lapping just above the lap record pace!” Comello commented, “Szoke’s Superbike race win at Shannonville was a great way to end our testing, but the ultimate goal for the past couple of months has been to gather as much data as possible.

At our first test Jordan was working through a lot of different chassis / geometry settings, brake pad compounds, and suspension set-ups. We were pleased to be able to test on the Shannonville Pro Circuit prior to the final round in September as this track isn’t one of Jordan’s favorites, but you can see comfort level has increased as reflected in his lap times.” “As for Brett, he is already showing why he’s a Factory Kawasaki rider. His times were fast right from our first test at Jennings and at Shannonville he was able to easily run with thelead pack of riders. He’s doing absolutely incredible and we’re very happy with his progress,” continued Comello.

Last year’s national at Mont Tremblant was a memorable one for both Szoke and McCormick. Szoke won both the Superbike and Pro 600 races, while McCormick picked up the Amateur 600 Sport Bike win. According to Comello, the Canadian Kawasaki Factory Road Race Team have a well-refined package and are as driven as ever. “We expect the new ZX-6R is going to shine at the first event. Mont-Tremblant is a high-speed flowing track and the ZX-6R should provide our riders with the speed and handling to succeed. The machine has done well in the U.S. and Europe so we’re looking to perform just as strongly.”

You can follow the series all year long and get more information at www.kawasakiracing.ca. In addition, all seven races on the schedule will be broadcast on TSN.

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