Established in 1994 under the direction of genial Dutch tuner Jan de Groot, the Kawasaki Racing Team has a proud history of success, clinching the premier 250cc world title in only its second year of operation with Stefan Everts. The following year Sebastien Tortelli became the youngest champion of all time when he clinched the 125cc title at the tender age of seventeen with an amazing tally of ten victories from the dozen GPs which then made up the series, and the French talent added the 250cc title two years later. The Kawasaki Racing Team has been a regular visitor to Victory Lane ever since, adding another 125cc world crown with Mickael Maschio in 2002.
When de Groot passed away in 2007 after losing a battle against severe illness the KRT reigns were taken over by Thierry Chizat Suzzoni and the accomplished French businessman has diligently built a closely-knit workforce under the direction of distinguished engineer Francois Lemariey together with the full factory support of the KHI factory in Japan to deliver the highly-successful KX450F-SR, the flagship of Kawasaki's off-road competition range.
Throughout the following years KRT has developed an intimate working relationship and technical exchange with Kawasaki Motors Europe, KHI and the Kawasaki Motors Corporation in the USA. The close ties and outstanding success on both sides of the Atlantic proved to be a key factor in the decision of Monster Energy, a long-term partner of Kawasaki in the USA, to extend their mutual identity as official partner to KRT in the FIM MXGP World Motocross Championship for several years now, the team achieving numerous successes with such talented riders as Frenchman Gautier Paulin and US champion Ryan Villopoto.
Clement Desalle, a 28 year old Belgian, has scored dramatic GP victories in each of his two seasons with KRT and, after an intense winter of testing with the team's technical staff and partners to tailor the bikes perfectly to his individual riding style, the five-times MXGP medallist is fully prepared to finally clinch the series gold which has eluded him in the past.
He is joined this year by fellow countryman Julien Lieber, a 23 year old MXGP rookie who boasts excellent credentials from his MX2 career; he carried the red plate of the series leader as a privateer last summer and will clearly benefit from the wealth of knowledge around him at KRT as he faces the new challenge.