Report: Kawi wanted a wild card in MotoGP, was told no

Sure, Jonny Rea looks fast and all, but is he good enough to survive the street?

Here’s an interesting tidbit from racing site GPOne. In a recent interview with Carmelo Ezpleta, the man who’s in charge of MotoGP, the racing czar let it slip that he’d denied Kawasaki a wild card race this year.

Apparently, Kawasaki had hoped to enter its World Superbike machine into a MotoGP event, in a one-off deal, with Jonathan Rea piloting, presumably. Ezpleta said no. He said this was because the seats in MotoGP are already taken; wild card entries are reserved for teams that are already participating.

No doubt some race fans will take this somewhat skeptically, and instead suggest Ezpleta was simply worried the WSB machine would prove too competitive for MotoGP’s liking, destroying some of MotoGP’s reputation as the superior series with the most exciting motorcycles. Maybe, maybe not; when you get to this level of series management, there’s all sorts of trickiness at play, as there’s millions at stake. And just because Kawi’s WSB test lap times have been very close to some MotoGP teams on circuits they share doesn’t mean they’d actually be competitive on the same tires on the same day …

Nevertheless, it’s interesting to speculate as to how it would all play out. The GPOne interview goes on to dig into Ezpleta’s attitude towards World Superbike and its place in the roadracing hierarchy, and the whole thing’s well worth a read—see it in its entirety here.


  1. Depends who the rider would be. Rea on the Kawie would embarrass some of the lower tier riders. Might crack the top 10 depending on the track. It’s about as likely to happen as Louis Hamilton competing in a NASCAR race. 4 hours of turning left. What could possibly go wrong ?

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