Kawasaki Racing Team’s MXGP effort is busy gearing up to face the challenges of the 2022 season. At the end of January, the team announced that newly-retired Formula One champion Kimi Räikkönen would be stepping up to a team boss role for 2022. While he’s best known as an extremely talented F1 driver, Räikkönen has been both passionate about and deeply involved in motocross for well over a decade. You can find plenty of videos of him out competing on bikes in the land of ice and snow over the years, too.
With a new year comes new challenges, though—and KRT MXGP took another step forward at the end of February with an official team photoshoot. They’re good for public relations, of course—but they’re also a very literal snapshot of any racing team, at any given moment in time. Riders (or drivers) are definitely important, but they’re only parts of the team, and don’t make up the whole team by themselves. Although members of this team have worked together for some time, 2022 marks its first year as a factory Kawasaki team.
“When the team started it was with Kawasaki machinery, so we can see the logic of the pieces of the lime green jig-saw fitting together. To be back on Kawasaki now feels right and we relish the responsibility of being the factory team. Our level of passion, experience and competitiveness is at the highest it has ever been, and we are ready for the challenges ahead,” KRT MXGP team manager Antti Pyrhönen said in a statement.
Gallery: Kawasaki Racing Team MXGP 2022
“Kimi started the team in 2011 and asked me to be the Team Manager. It was so soon after my racing career, I almost still had the strap marks on my chin from my crash helmet! Ever since then we have carefully gathered a formidable team around us that work as an effective unit and can bid for world championship success,” he continued.
“It’s an evolutionary process and each year, month and day we learn more, and we hope that this learning process never ends. Kimi gives us great strategic advice and his knowledge of world motorsport at the highest level helps us to always focus on the bigger picture in terms of team approach. Our twin goals are success on and off track – race and championship success at GP’s plus being seen as among the most professional and well-presented teams in the paddock,” Pyrhönen explained.
“To be successful in any enterprise, you must be motivated. As an ex-GP rider, I know that and so does Kimi with his experience of Formula 1. I can honestly say that every person involved with the team, plus all our valued sponsor partners, are really motivated and hungry for success in 2022,” he concluded.
Racers are, in fact, gonna race—and strategize, and learn, and always keep their heads in the game. We look forward to seeing how the new KRT MXGP team’s efforts pay off.