On a brisk but thankfully sunny winter’s day at Fat Cat Moto Parc Kawasaki Motors UK (KMUK) took the opportunity to official launch their pro UK Motocross race teams. No question, KMUK are definitely raising their bar as they look for those all important British Motocross championships. It’s fair to say that the green team have been stepping up their motocross programme here in Europe in the World Championship over the past few years and now that ethos is obviously filtering through to their efforts in the UK.
With arguably Britain’s best hope of a world champion in 2012 in Tommy Searle, Kawasaki have a great ambassador for their brand here in Blighty but like every manufacture they’d love to win the major championships on a domestic level. That’s why armed with 250KXF and 450KXF models that are better than they’ve ever been KMUK have stepped up their programme in the pro ranks with three supported teams who will all be competing in the Maxxis British championship and Red Bull Pro Nationals.
LPE/ Maxxis/ Henderson Kawasaki will continue to front up KMUK’s assault as the official team, while Lanes Kawasaki and Oakleaf Kawasaki will be right there keeping Steve James’ official KMUK team on their toes with that healthy team rivalry. Obviously every team wants to win but there’s a great family atmosphere amongst the KMUK backed team and that was evident at the official launch. You know how it is, it’s like wanting to beat your brother or sister and that will only benefit KMUK out on the track!
Bearing that in mind, KMUK race director Ross Burridge is the man who affectively has to play dad but he certainly looked relaxed and happy at the launch. So we thought we’d collar him for a few words in case the cold wind changed his face! Here’s what he had to say about KMUK’s 2012 race programme.
“It’s been tricky, like it always is, getting everything ready with new teams and new riders but we’re all getting there and I feel we’re in a good place with it all. All the lads look in good shape on the track right now so I can see that the work has been put in by them and the teams. The LPE lads look sharp and I know they’ve worked very hard on the bikes with Pro Circuit and everyone else. It’s also great to see Oakleaf really stepping it up, fair play to them. It was their first year last year and it was a bit of learning curve for them but they’ve taken it all on board and are pushing. They’ve signed up Alex Snow which is great for us at KMUK to keep him on a Kawasaki, as a whole the team look sharp with strong riders. Lanes have Marc Dereuver and there’s no doubting if that all gels well then they have a great chance of winning too so I think we’re a stronger outfit than we’ve been over the past few years. Obviously on the world stage we’re doing great with the likes of Ryan Villopoto claening up and Mitch Payton’s team continuing to be a success last year and our programme improving in the world championship with the factory Kawasaki Racing Team and CLS.
“We’ve then got Twisted 7 who’ll be running our ‘Team Green’ programme in youth motocross here in the UK and they’ll be launching their rider line up real soon with their own launch so we’re excited about that. They have some good, cool sponsors on board and we’re building a long term programme with them to find the talent that will hopefully come all the way through and end up where Tommy Searle is now. They also have support from Pro Circuit so there’s a good synergy there with LPE and KMUK and that’s something we’re looking to build on. They have Monster Energy on board too which is a big plus for them and for us.
“We’re really pushing to go out there and win titles. I know every other manufacture are too but we’ve put a lot of development into the 250KXF and especially the 450KXF for this year and we want to win with it. I know I’m biased but I think we can, it’s a great bike and hopefully the riders we have on those bikes will do them justice and do us proud. We now got to show ourselves as contenders here in the UK whereas maybe in the past we’ve shied away from that a little. We know we’ve got really good bikes and a really good team programme going, now we have to get out there and make that count.”
Catch up with the KMUK teams on their websites!