Kimi Raikkonen made it clear that his latest motocross venture is a very serious project, not just a post-Formula 1 hobby.
It has been announced that for the upcoming World Motocross Championship, Kawasaki have switched their factory team allegiances over to Raikkonen and his IceOne Racing outfit, which at the end of the 2021 season concluded its partnership with Husqvarna Motorcycles, having represented Husqvarna Motorcycles in the MXGP class since 2014.
The Kawasaki-Raikkonen alliance team will continue to be known as KRT MXGP.
With Raikkonen to serve as team principal, he plans to ramp up his time commitment to this project since his F1 days are now behind him.
That being said, this is a project which Raikkonen has an ambitious future for, rather than him seeing this as something to keep him busy now that he is finished with Formula 1.
Kawasaki Racing is pleased to announce @F1 legend Kimmi Raikkonen and former GP winner Antti Pyrhonen as the new @kawasakimxgp team leadership for the 2022 FIM World Championship. #Kawasaki #RaceKX #KX450SR #MXGP pic.twitter.com/ppiLI1dj62
— Kawasaki Racing (@RaceKawasaki) January 27, 2022
“It’s no secret that, for me, one of my great passions in life for many years has been motocross but this team is not what you might call a hobby; it’s very serious, very focused and we aspire to be the best we possibly can,” Raikkonen said.
“Now I have retired from racing I will be able to spend more time on this project; not on the daily issues but more from a strategic point of view using my experience of how teams work and what creates success on the world stage.
“Everyone including myself is delighted that Kawasaki has chosen us to be the Factory team.
“I know that the chance of success is always greater with direct factory support so this translates into a great opportunity for us as the new Kawasaki Racing Team in MXGP.”
The team’s line-up will consist firstly of Frenchman Romain Febvre, the 2015 Motocross World Champion, who has been a part of the Kawasaki factory team since 2020.
He will be joined by Ben Watson, a two-time winner in the series who makes the move from Yamaha’s factory team.
The 2022 Motorcross World Championship season is set to begin in February, with the MXGP of Great Britain at Matterley Basin scheduled for February 20.
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