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The Fuchs Kawasaki Racing Team are headquarter in Vohenstrauss, a small German town close the border with the Czech Republic and the hometown of Team Manager, Harald Eckl.

After taking over the official factory supported team reins in 1997, Eckl's team not only won the World Supersport title, but also maintained its key role as one of the frontrunners of the World Superbike class with the ZX7RR despite increasingly tough competition from rule advantaged 1000cc twin-cylinder machines.

In 1997 Akira Yanagawa and kiwi teammate Simon Crafar rode the Eckl machines, Yanagawa winning at Zetlweg and Sugo and taking three 2nd placings ended up a respectful 4th overall at seasons end. Crafar also had a number of podium finishes and ended up just behind him on 5th at the end of the year.

1998 was a less succesful season for Kawasaki and despite a number of technical improvments to the machine, the ZX7R wasnt overly competative. 1999 was much better, the bike had been tuned to be more like the easier to manage 1997 model, power was a little more linear and at 168HP definately the top-performing 750 four. Yanagawa took a win and 2nd at Sugo, two 2nds and a handful of 3rds ending the season 5th overall.

For the 2002 season Hitoyasu Izutsu was paired with Chris Walker in the Fuchs team with both riders securing a number of top-10 finishes during the year. Izutsu ended up 14th overall including a couple of 6ths and Walker a respectable 9th after a 4th at Silverstone and 6th at Brands Hatch.

Eckl's team were chosen to spearhead Kawasaki's return to Grand Prix racing in 2003, and in 2004 the team has Kawasaki machines entered in the Moto GP championship piloted by Shinya Nakano and Alex Hofmann.

Nakano has started from the second row of the grid on four seperate occassions so far this season with best placings of a couple of 7ths. Hoffman has qualified a few places behind on average and finished with a best of 10th so far.


See Also: K Index | Kawasaki Race Teams


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