Reigning Supersport champion to defend his number one plate; Attack Kawasaki to challenge the Superbike, Formula Extreme and Supersport classes
IRVINE, Calif. (Nov. 23, 2004) - Fresh on the heels of clinching both the title and the runner-up position in an exciting AMA Supersport Series, Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. announced its road racing teams for the 2005 season.
Leading the effort will be reigning AMA Supersport champion Tommy Hayden and runner-up Roger Hayden, both of whom will race the all-new Kawasaki Ninja® ZX-6RR motorcycle in the AMA's highly competitive Supersport class. Both riders will also race Ninja ZX-10R sportbikes in the Superstock class.
Along side Kawasaki's factory effort will be Team Attack Kawasaki's Josh Hayes and new-comer Ben Attard. Hayes will race the Ninja ZX-10R in the AMA's Superbike class, while Attard will compete in the Formula Extreme and Supersport classes on the ZX-6RR. Mike Preston, manager of Kawasaki's factory road racing effort, said the 2004 season was especially exciting for Kawasaki as the Hayden brothers battled for the title at the very last round - and that Kawasaki racing fans can expect more intense action in 2005. "It was amazing to see these two guys from Kentucky battling each other for every inch of the race track," said Preston, "Kawasaki was extremely pleased with their performance and we're happy to have them riding for us again in 2005."
Preston added: "It will be interesting to see how the new season develops - Tommy's determined to keep his number one plate, but Roger would love to take it from him in '05." Returning to Team Attack Kawasaki - Kawasaki's satellite team - is Josh Hayes. Despite a slow start and a painful get-off early in 2004, Hayes' quiet, workmanlike attitude and top-ten finishes in 12 rounds earned him an impressive 8th overall in the Superbike class. Now, with a year of experience on the ultra-high-performance Ninja ZX-10R, the Mississippi native and former 750 Superstock champion is renewing his assault on the Superbike crown. "Josh did an excellent job on the ZX-10R, and we're happy that he and Attack Kawasaki are going for the Superbike title in 2005," said Preston.
Hayes' teammate is relative new-comer Ben Attard. The 24-year old Attard grew up racing motocross in his native New Zealand before switching to road racing in 1998. With five years of experience racing in Australia and a 250cc Production class championship title in hand, Attard made his way to the United States in 2003 where he had several top ten finishes and two wins in the American Suzuki Cup.
Attard's obvious skill on two wheels drew the attention of Kawasaki, which recruited him to race the Toyota 200 at Willow Springs Raceway in 2004. His podium finish there convinced Team Attack Kawasaki owner Richard Stamboli that Attard is championship material. "Ben proved himself to be the talented rider we were looking for," said Stamboli, "and we're excited that he's riding for us. Between Josh and Ben, our 2005 effort is looking very strong."
In addition to its championship riders, Kawasaki has introduced a new 600cc-class sportbike that will raise the performance standards in the Supersport series. The 2005 Ninja ZX-6RR features a new chassis and suspension, a more powerful engine and an aerodynamic design that makes it the most streamlined bike Kawasaki has ever created. Mike Preston commented: "Tommy and Roger's first and second place in the Supersport series proves that the previous model is a great race bike, but this new ZX-6RR is just that much better. I have no doubt that our bikes will be out front in 2005."
Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. (KMC) markets and sells at wholesale Kawasaki motorcycles, ATVs, personal watercraft, utility vehicles and power products through a network of more than 1,500 independent retailers, with an additional 8,400 retailers specializing in power products and general purpose engines. KMC and its affiliates employ nearly 2,400 people in the United States, with more than 350 of them located at the Irvine, California headquarters. Kawasaki's tagline, "Let the good times roll.", is recognized worldwide and the brand is aggressively carrying its heritage of leading-edge power, performance and exhilaration into the 21st century. Information about Kawasaki's complete line of recreational products and Kawasaki affiliates can be found on the Internet at kawasaki.com.