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The Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team confidently enters the 2018 FIM World MXGP Motocross Championship season with a twin spearhead of Clement Desalle and Julien Lieber each chasing the title.
Established in 1994 under the direction of genial Dutch tuner Jan de Groot, the Kawasaki Racing Team clinched the premier 250cc world title in only its second year of operation with Belgian Stefan Everts and one year later added the 125cc world crown when Sebastien Tortelli became the youngest champion of all time with an amazing ten victories in a dozen GPs.The French teenager scored a stunning victory on his debut in the 250cc GPs and went on to clinch the premier title in 1998. KRT continued to be a major player in the following seasons with race and GP victories, a further 125cc world title coming in 2002 with Mickael Maschio, but the team was dealt a severe blow in the early summer of 2007 when de Groot passed away after battling severe illness.At the end of 2008 the reigns were taken over by French businessman Thierry Chizat Suzzoni who has diligently restructured the team with a closely-knit workforce under the direction of distinguished engineer Francois Lemariey and the full factory support of Kawasaki Japan delivering the highly-successful KX450F-SR, the flagship of Kawasaki's off-road range.
Throughout the following years KRT has developed an intimate working relationship and technical exchange with Kawasaki Motors Europe, Kawasaki Japan and Kawasaki USA. The close ties and outstanding success on both sides of the Atlantic proved to be a key factor in the decision of Monster Energy, a long-term partner of Kawasaki in the USA, to extend their mutual identity as official partner to KRT in the FIM World MXGP Motocross Championship and elegant French rider Gautier Paulin scored six GP victories in three seasons for the team.The ever-expanding global impact of the FIM MXGP world series under the title sponsorship of Monster Energy was paramount in the sensational decision of multiple US champion Ryan Villopoto to leave the comfort zone of racing in his homeland to join KRT as he challenged the world's best riders and a string of unfamiliar tracks, surfaces and culture around the globe in 2015. RV2 made an immediate impact as he raced to victory in only his second GP before he sadly suffered career-ending injuries a few weeks later.Team owner Thierry Chizat Suzzoni renewed his determination to succeed as he searched for new riders to maintain Kawasaki's presence at the sharp end of the FIM World MXGP Motocross Championship. Both Clement Desalle, a 27 year old Belgian who has been three times runner-up in the major class, and France's Jordi Tixier (24), the 2014 MX2 world champion, jumped at the chance to join the high-profile KRT set-up and each of the twin spearhead has a highly realistic chance of the title in their second season together as KRT, Kawasaki and Monster Energy strive to return to their rightful position at the very top of the tree in world motocross.
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