The FIM Superbike World Championship started in 1988 at Donington Park in Great Britain and soon became established as the foremost production-derived race series on two wheels. The mix of affordable global racing on accessible road-based machinery was a seductive amalgam for riders, teams and spectators alike.
Kawasaki was an early winner in the Riders’ Title chase, thanks to Scott Russell in 1993 and more recently in 2013, 2015 and last year. Tom Sykes was champ in 2013 and Jonathan Rea in ’15 and ’16, each on their Ninja ZX-10Rs.
The Ninja dynasty of machines had won 91 race victories up to the end of the 2016 season, starting with Adrien Morillas in the inaugural year of the series. Since then Doug Chandler, Rob Phillis, Aaron Slight, Scott Russell, Anthony Gobert, Akira Yanagawa, Hitoyasu Izutsu, Chris Walker, Tom Sykes, Loris Baz and Jonathan Rea have won WorldSBK races for Kawasaki.
The podium-scoring total for Ninja pilots now stands at 307 from 720 races started. Kawasaki has taken 63 pole positions in that time too.
Kawasaki has been an ever-present manufacturer in WorldSBK racing and from the earliest days to now there have been many rule changes and technical regulations to match and comply with. Several teams have opted to use Ninja ZX-10R machines once again, a testimony to the performance and reliability of Kawasaki machines from the very start of the championship to now.