The current season was one of rebuilding for the CLS Kawasaki Monster Energy Pro Circuit team after several years of outstanding success with a series of GP victories by Steven Frossard, Joel Roelants, Christophe Pourcel and Tommy Searle.
British number one Searle, switching to the MX1 class this year after his MX2 series silver medal in 2012, has narrowly missed the podium on several occasions during his rookie season. The team was desperately unlucky to lose the services of MX2 team leader Arnaud Tonus early in the season, but fellow newcomer Alessandro Lupino has already scored two podium results as the team looks forward to 2014 with just one change in the line-up as exciting teenager Dylan Ferrandis joins the squad.
Team CLS Kawasaki Monster Energy Pro Circuit has been confirmed as Kawasaki's official team in the MX2 world championship next year and is confident of glory with three of the most talented riders in the class - Tonus, who will return to racing next week in Great Britain, Lupino and long time Kawasaki rider Ferrandis; the French teenager scored a fantastic second position in his home GP in June.
The team will continue his involvement in the MX1 class with Searle; both Tommy and the team learnt a lot this season, and will face next season with more support from Kawasaki Heavy Industries, and each team will have a separate structure; Harrie Van Hout (MX2) and Harry Nolte (MX1) will be again manage the teams and retain their dedicated technical staff.
Jean Jacques Luisetti (team owner): “I’m very happy to continue working with the same riders and the same staff, and also pleased to welcome Dylan Ferrandis, already a promising Kawasaki rider, to the team. Arnaud Tonus will be back racing next weekend in Great Britain; his injury concerns are behind now that they have removed the pin from his leg. Alessandro has grown in confidence this year and with these three riders we are ready to finish in the top three next year in the MX2 category. In the MX1 class we were expecting a top five result this year with Tommy and we are close to this position; we have each learnt a lot this year and I’m sure that next year we can reach a podium with him, he is only 24 years old and was the best ‘rookie’ this season, thanks to his legendary racing spirit. I want to thank all our sponsors, with a special mention for Kawasaki and Monster Energy who each increased their support; they can be sure that we will all do our best to reach podium results in both classes next season.”
Dylan Ferrandis: “I’m happy to join the CLS team for the next year; it has always been a dream for me to ride a Kawasaki Pro Circuit. I’m sure that we’ll have very good material, with a strong support from Kawasaki and PC; I didn’t test the bike yet, but I have been racing Kawasaki for many years so I know that my bike will be as good as anything on the track. My first goal will be to have a strong winter as the past two years I have suffered with injuries – shoulder in 2011 and leg in 2012 – and this year I was only able to get back on the bike at the end of February. I’m convinced that if I have a good winter programme 2014 will be different; this year I got one podium in France, but I’m sure that if I start the season fully prepared I will fight for the podium nearly every weekend.”
Harrie Van Hout (MX2 Manager): “It will be a big challenge to have three riders in the team, but we’re ready for it and it’s great to have three riders who can score top results. This year has been tough with the injury of Arnaud, so we’ve worked mainly with Alessandro who is still learning and improving each week. We now know each other better and for sure we’ll start next season on a higher base; we’ll start to work with Arnaud next week, so he will have time to be fully prepared for next season. Concerning Dylan we’ll start working together in November when his current contract expires, and we’ll have a strong winter programme to prepare with our riders for next year. In January we’ll start the season in the south of France, Spain or Sardinia, we need to do a rigorous testing programme in good conditions. Working with three riders will be different, but I’m sure that we can handle it.”
Harry Nolte (MX1 Manager): "We learnt a lot in our first season with Tommy in the MX1 class, and for sure this experience will help us in the future. Tommy spent some time in the US last winter, and in the end that didn't help us to prepare for the GP campaign because Tommy didn't have much experience of the 450. We have seen how fast his results improved, and since mid-season he has been a regular podium contender; he didn't got one yet but that's down to his lack of experience in the class, and some bad luck, but I'm sure that first podium will come very soon, here in Belgium or next week in England. Next year we'll have full support from the Kawasaki factory, and for sure with the support of KHI and Pro Circuit we'll be even stronger; Tommy also will have more experience, and I'm convinced that he will soon be as strong in MX1 as he was in the MX2 class."
Steve Guttridge (Kawasaki Motors Europe Race Planning Manager): "I'm very confident that Tommy can make the next progression in his MX1 career next season; that is to make the podium regularly and fight for wins. Our MX2 line-up with the talented Dylan Ferrandis joining a more experienced Lupino and a fully fit Tonus will for sure bring Kawasaki some exciting results throughout next season."