New factory-backed teams, more riders, triple-increased contingency, and a new race transport rig underscore Kawasakiâ€™s commitment to the sport Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A., got into the AMA /Prostar Drag Racing Series in a big way in 1998....
New factory-backed teams, more riders, triple-increased contingency, and a new race transport rig underscore Kawasaki’s commitment to the sport
Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A., got into the AMA /Prostar Drag Racing Series in a big way in 1998. Pro Superbike Champion Rickey Gadson and Funnybike contender Steve Rice spearheaded the two-rider factory-backed effort a first in motorcycle drag racing history while other Kawasaki riders took full advantage of the company’s strong contingency program.
This year, Kawasaki steps up its AMA/Prostar drag racing program with even more contingency funds, a new factory support vehicle, and four drag racing teams ventures:
· Team Kawasaki Drag Racing · Team Mr. Turbo Kawasaki Drag Racing · Team Green Drag Racing · Team Trac Dynamics Kawasaki Drag Racing
For 1999, Gadson and Rice officially return as Team Kawasaki Drag Racing to lead Kawasaki’s drag racing efforts. Gadson will get lots of opportunities to break in his flashy new leathers, competing in four classes altogether. In the Pro Superbike class, he looks forward to taking advantage of new rules allowing progressive nitrous among other performance enhancements in his shot at scoring a third straight Pro Superbike championship. He plans to improve on his #2 finish overall in last year’s 600 SuperSport competition, and is also adding both the Pro Mod and Quickest Streetbike Shootout to his riding roster. Will King, who works for Gadson’s local sponsor East Coast Kawasaki of Trenton, New Jersey, will continue to tune Gadson’s machines for the 600 SuperSport and Pro Superbike competitions.
Pairing with Gadson on Team Kawasaki Drag Racing is Steve Rice, winner of the 1998 AMA/Prostar West Coast Funnybike Championship, and second overall in last year’s Funnybike series. One of drag racing’s most respected innovators, Rice has been putting the finishing touches on his Funnybike, built on the Ninja® ZX-11 powerplant. Rice’s crew chief is Kathy Mortensen, an experienced assistant and long-time motorcycle drag-racing devotee.
New alliances strengthen Kawasaki’s drag racing efforts In the Pro Mod and Quickest Streetbike shootout classes, Kawasaki partnered with none other than Terry "Mr. Turbo" Kizer to form Team Mr. Turbo Kawasaki Drag Racing. As part of the cooperative racing venture, renowned performance wizard Kizer will prep the race bikes for both himself and Gadson. A turbocharged Ninja® ZX-11 motor is the foundation for Gadson’s Pro Mod racer; a '99 turbo Ninja® ZX-9 powers the Shootout bike.
Team Green Drag Racing the goal of which is to keep Kawasaki in the forefront of the all-important 600 SuperSport class makes its first appearance in 1999 with three riders. Riding bikes powered by stock Ninja® ZX-6R engines, factory-supported contenders Marty Ladwig, Chip Ellis, and Chris Williams will battle it out for the 600 SuperSport title.
Team Trac Dynamics Kawasaki Drag Racing features veteran racer Bruce Sauers in the Pro Elapsed Time (ET) class. His Ninja® ZX-11 powered "Razor" bike is expected to be race-ready in time for the March 27-28 series event in Atlanta.