If you're a motorsports fan, you know that some teams naturally dominate the conversation in any given era.

Often, that has an awful lot to do with an insanely talented rider or driver who's also pulling focus at the time. Think Schumacher at Ferrari in F1, or Hamilton at Mercedes in F1, or Rossi at Yamaha in MotoGP, or Marquez at Honda in MotoGP. 

What do all those teams and racing talent have in common? They're all partnerships that won multiple world championships together, driving a heady mix of technological innovation and fan enthusiasm to the next level in 100 percent of cases. 

With those examples in mind, it's not at all difficult to understand that it's a big deal when such a winning racer departs for another team.

That's why, at least at first, it took a bit of time for fans to adjust to Jonathan Rea's move from his longtime, multiple championship-winning home at KRT over to Yamaha in the World Superbike paddock for 2024

On the one hand, Rea, like all racers, wants to win. He's proven time and again that he can do exactly that, and has all six shiny WSBK rider championship trophies (not to mention an Order of the British Empire) to prove it. All those things, we'll add, were accrued during his time with the Kawasaki Racing Team. 

2024 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR WSBK Edition - Germany - Right Side

2024 Was Always Clearly Going To Be Year Of Transition For KRT

Bearing all that context in mind, KRT was always going to be reassessing itself during 2024. So while the change over to a new-but-not-entirely Bimota by Kawasaki Racing Team for 2025 initially hits like a major shakeup, it also makes a lot of narrative sense.

Think back to 2019. That's the year that Kawasaki Motors Europe NV (which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kawasaki Heavy Industries, the parent company that controls every subsidiary that produces anything with the Kawasaki name on it) first announced that it had taken control of Bimota, with full intent to revive the storied brand.

Since that time, interested onlookers have seen development of a handful of new Bimota projects, usually shown at big international motorcycle shows like EICMA. To a one, they've been powered by some of Kawasaki's most advanced motorcycle engines.

While KRT fans will point to Kawasaki's long and storied racing history, Bimota also has some racing history of its own, even if it's not quite as extensive. It didn't win championships, but it did win races; something that the 2025 team will be keen to both replicate and build on.

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The new Bimota by Kawasaki Racing Team will utilize a donor Ninja ZX-10RR powerplant in the machines it lines up with on the 2025 grid.

Bimota COO Pierluigi Marconi said, "The engineering, technology and day-to-day business support already offered by Kawasaki has put Bimota firmly back into the consciousness of the media and potential customers; now it is time to take a next step in our evolution."

"Bimota has had racing as part of its DNA from day one and to compete in WorldSBK alongside developing our new product range, while expanding the European and global dealer network, has an undeniable logic to it. With the unparalleled experience of the existing Kawasaki Racing Team experts plus the full support and cooperation of Kawasaki Motors, Ltd. in Japan fills us with pride and optimism. The Bimota by Kawasaki Racing Team will surely form the foundations of the next chapter in the Bimota story," he concluded.

What about the KRT team members? On the occasion of this announcement, KRT WSBK team manager Guim Roda said, “In the past thirteen years, myself, and all of those at the KRT workshop in Granollers, have dedicated ourselves wholeheartedly to the Kawasaki Superbike project and garnered seven WorldSBK rider titles in that time plus numerous team and manufacturer awards. Now – after Kawasaki competing for nearly four decades in the Superbike World Championship – we are proud to be part of a new era forming the infrastructure of the new Bimota by Kawasaki Racing Team."

He continued, “For sure we will spare some time to reflect on and celebrate the heritage of Kawasaki in Superbike racing but we are also extremely excited to be a core component of this new Bimota and Kawasaki joint venture. This is an evolution for Kawasaki’s approach to the top level of production racing and we are honored to play our role in this new project. I am confident we have the technology and human resources necessary to succeed and it will be a fresh, energizing experience fielding an impressive two rider team in the 2025 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship.”

While we're currently only three races into the 12-round 2024 WSBK season at the time of writing, here's wishing the current KRT and future BbKRT teams the best of luck going forward. We can't wait to see how this situation evolves, both on the track and off it.

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