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Kawasaki team to use Hayate title

The sole Kawasaki in the 2009 MotoGP championship will run under the Hayate Racing banner.

Although Kawasaki announced its withdrawal from the series in early January, agreement has been reached for one of the ex-works Ninja ZX-RRs to stay in the field with a new team run largely by former factory personnel.

Marco Melandri, who had signed for Kawasaki before the company pulled out, was announced as the revived squad's sole rider on Thursday, but has since indicated that he will not make any firm commitments until he knows the bike is competitive, amid rumours that the first test of the 2009 Kawasaki in Australia last month was disappointing.

The Hayate team will be led by engineer Ichiro Yoda, with Andrea Dosoli as team manager. They have begun testing with Melandri at Losail this evening, although the floodlit session has been interrupted by a rainstorm.

"This is an important test for us in order to assess our potential," Dosoli told the official MotoGP website.

"The chassis is completely new and so is the engine.

"The rain is not helping us early on, because we need to see exactly where we are as a team in normal conditions.

"It is important for us to have Marco on the bike as he is a talented rider who has great experience."

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