Kawasaki was an early winner in the riders’ title chase, thanks to American Scott Russell in 1993. Tom Sykes was the next Kawasaki champ in 2013 and six-times World Champion Jonathan Rea has dominated each season since 2015 to date, with the British riders competing victorious on their Ninja ZX-10R and ZX-10RR machines.
Such has been the recent success of the Ninja model that Kawasaki has won the past six Riders’ and Manufacturers’ titles despite numerous changes to the technical regulations. Five Teams’ titles have also been gathered in the past six season by the official KRT squad.
The Ninja dynasty of machines had won 158 race victories up to the end of 2020, beginning with Adrien Morillas in the inaugural year of the series, 1988. Since then Doug Chandler, Rob Phillis, Aaron Slight, Scott Russell, Anthony Gobert, Akira Yanagawa, Hitoyasu Izutsu, Chris Walker, Tom Sykes, Loris Baz, Jonathan Rea, Toprak Razgatlioglu and most recently Alex Lowes have won WorldSBK races for Kawasaki.
Going into the 2021 season the podium-scoring total for Ninja pilots stands at 454 from 832 races started. Kawasaki has taken 92 pole positions in that time too.
Kawasaki has been an ever-present manufacturer in WorldSBK racing and from the earliest days to now and has fielded starters in more WorldSBK races than any other manufacturer.
In 2022 a total of four teams and five riders will use the latest Ninja ZX-10RR for what is expected to be a closely contested campaign, which forms the 35th FIM Superbike World Championship season.