SA Kawasaki BCperformance Matthew Walters & Jack Baker Backed by Kawasaki in 2016
Kawasaki Motors Australia will continue to support Jack Baker, Matthew Walters and team SA Kawasaki BCperformance in their 2016 Australasian Superbike Championship efforts.
Privateers, Matthew Walters and Jack Baker have joined SA Kawasaki BCperformance racing team in welcoming the evolutionary 2016 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R as the newest weapon in their arsenals.
In addition to acquiring the new Ninja ZX-10R, SA Kawasaki BCperformance have revealed that Robert Bugden has joined the team alongside existing 1000cc superbike rider, Ben Burke. Evan Byles will continue with the team, racing separately in the Formula Oz series.
Bugden is a veteran superbike racer who has five New Zealand Superbike Championship titles under his belt as well as nine years of factory racing experience at an Australian national level. The thirty two year old has competed in the Suzuka 8 Hours (twice), the British Superbike Championship, the Asian Road Race series and the German Superbike Championship, plus he holds the current outright lap record at Sydney Motorsport Park.
Bugden said, “I couldn’t be happier than to have an opportunity to race the brand new Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R with Kelvin and SA Kawasaki BCperformance. Kelvin and the crew have shown they run a professional and very competitive team. We will be a real force to reckon with in the Australasian Superbike Championship and it sure is going to be exciting times ahead. I can’t wait!”
Ryan Masri will be joining the immensely talented Kyle Buckley in the supersport (600cc) ranks, backing up the team’s philosophy of providing a pathway for up-and-coming athletes to develop their racing careers. Ryan competed as a privateer in the Kawasaki Insurances FX300 Ninja Cup last year, where he placed 5th overall aboard his Ninja 300.
“I’m really excited about joining the team and moving up to the 600cc category next year. Big thanks to Kelvin for providing me with the opportunity. I’m looking forward to riding the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R and it’s a confidence inspiring feeling knowing that I’ll be backed by the SA Kawasaki BCperformance racing team,” Ryan commented.
Two fulltime Ninja 300 riders will round out the SA Kawasaki BCperformance racing team, including seventeen year old Jimmy Broadbent, who will embark on his second full season of racing and twenty one year old Yannis Shaw, who was also a contender in the Kawasaki Insurances FX300 Ninja Cup last year.
Team Manager, Kelvin Reilly, said “The previous Ninja ZX-10R was a championship winning machine on the world stage and with the updates made to the new model, our superbike riders will be unstoppable. Feedback from our riders after testing is very promising to say the least. Brakes and corner exit are unbelievable and the power has increased, especially in mid-range. During initial testing, Bugden said it’s the best production bike he has ever ridden on the track.”
“Racing the new Kawasaki ZX-10R and bringing Robbie on board is a huge boost for our chances at the Australasian Superbike Championship title this year. Kyle Buckley has proven himself in last year’s competition with a race win on his Ninja ZX-6R and Ryan is just oozing with potential. Having riders in the 1000cc, 600cc and 300cc class makes for a dynamic team and there is never a dull moment. I’d like to thank Kawasaki Motors Australia, SA Motorcycles and all of our sponsors for their increased support,” Kelvin commented.
Privateer superbike athlete, Matthew Walters, has also been priming his 2016 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R in preparation for this years Australasian Superbike Championship.
“We had a quick shakedown test before Christmas on the new bike and it was a real pleasure to ride. There are so many components on the bike that bring it to another level but the fork is definitely a standout. The standard bike, as it comes, is such an advanced starting point for developing a superbike, which is handy. The brakes are unbelievable and a massive improvement. The first couple of times I used them I thought ‘wow’, this thing pulls up! The handling and chassis are awesome too,” Matthew commented.
The proficient superbike racer will commit even more dedication towards his racing efforts this year, with increased resources going towards pre-round preparation and testing of his Kawasaki Connection Ninja ZX-10R, prepared with the assistance of his father, Carl Walters.
“I plan on training more and having much more seat time on the bike this year to really maximise my understanding of the new Ninja ZX-10R. To really be able to push the bike to its limits and get the most out of the machine, you need to know it like the back of your hand. Last year, the results were always favourable at the rounds where we managed to train at the circuits beforehand so we are aiming to keep this up.”
“With the new Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R I can see myself at least finishing on the podium by the end of the season and fighting for race wins at every round,” Matthew said.
Jack Bakers Supersport crusade came to a premature end last year after injuries suffered from a minor crash aboard his Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R ruled him out for the remainder of the series.
Following months of strengthening and reconditioning, Jack will advance to the Superbike class in this year’s Australasian Superbike Championship series.
“I really enjoyed my time racing last year, until I hurt my back in my accident which was a little disappointing. Luckily there was no permanent injury and I’m back on deck.”
“The technology of the new Ninja ZX-10Ris second to none and I’m keen to develop my riding around this exciting new model. Besides that, I feel that my style will suit Superbike racing over the next few years,” Jack commented.
The 17 year old approaches the Superbike class with confidence encouraged by the assistance he will be receiving from Head Technician at Crazy Dogs Motorcycles, Sam Burgess.
“The most important thing I learnt from my experience last year was that bike set up is paramount to results. We struggled in that area and the team is looking to improve on that moving forward with Sam’s expertise,” Jack said.
This year Jack will miss the first round of the Australasian Superbike Championship series due to unforeseen circumstances however he will manage to squeeze in the remaining 5 rounds alongside a Bachelor of International Studies and participating in the Army Reserves part-time.
“I want to keep developing my riding this year. I feel it will take me three years to really come to terms with what it takes to ride a Superbike competitively. I am more determined than ever and I’ve got the right support in place from Kawasaki Motors Australia, Kawasaki Motors Finance, Ficeda, Five Gloves & Crazy Dogs Motorcycles, so I am confident that we will be a force to reckon with this year!”
To find out more about Kawasaki supported riders in the 2016 Australasian Superbike Championship, view their rider profiles at www.kawasaki.com.au.