From Roadracing World:
Kawasaki Won't Build 1000cc AMA Superbike, And May Not Run 750cc Superbike, In 2003
Copyright 2002, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.
Kawasaki will not build a 1000cc Superbike to meet proposed 2003 AMA rules and may not continue to compete with the 750cc ZX-7RR, either.
That's the word from Kawasaki Road Race Manager Mike Preston, who said Tuesday that the company's future course in AMA road racing is uncertain.
One problem is that the ZX-7RR's World Superbike homologation has expired; the company does not plan to homologate a new 750cc racebike and will end its World Superbike program at the conclusion of the 2002 season. Development of the 750cc machine has ended, and it's unknown whether there will be enough parts left over to campaign the ZX-7RR for another season in AMA racing.
Another problem is that a 1000cc Inline Four cannot be competitive under the current rules proposal, said Preston.
An obvious solution would be to change the rules to make 1000cc Inline Fours competitive against current Superbikes. But, Preston said, another solution would be to eliminate existing (currently competing) factory Superbikes and apply the same closer-to-production rules across the board to everything, including 1000cc V-Twins (like the Honda RC51).
What happens in the next few months will determine whether or not Kawasaki competes in AMA Superbike in 2003.
Meanwhile, officials at Suzuki said that the Yoshimura Blimpie Suzuki team may compete in Formula Xtreme instead of Superbike in 2003, unless the Superbike rules are changed.
Yamaha officials are also seriously considering pulling out of AMA Superbike.
Which may effectively make Formula Xtreme the premier AMA class in terms of competition, albeit with a relatively small purse, and may effectively reincarnate the Superbike class as a sort of big-purse, factory-bike Pro Thunder competition for V-Twins.