News 20 Jun 2024

Kawasaki reunion for Walters after failed Aprilia project

New South Welshman set for Phillip Island ASBK return.

Image: Foremost Media.

Long-time Mi-bike Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) privateer Matt Walters is set to reunite with Kawasaki for the remainder of the season, just 18 months after transitioning to Aprilia machinery.

The New South Welshman spent majority of his professional career with Kawasaki until the beginning of the 2023 season, putting an end to a 13-year partnership as he attempted to revitalise his racing efforts aboard an Aprilia RSV4 1100.

It was a luckless transition that saw Walters initially equipped with a basic race package as he awaited upgrades, while further technical issues and a broken wrist ultimately sidelined him for three of seven rounds last year.

His woes only continued into 2024, with his RSV4 1100 bringing out the red flag in race three at Phillip Island’s season-opener when it spilt oil around the circuit, while a frightening crash at Sydney Motorsport Park sidelined him with a collarbone injury.

“After the accident at Eastern Creek, we still had a lot of unknown answers about the Aprilia and the Motec stuff – we couldn’t really get to the bottom of it,” Walters declared to CycleOnline.

“I spoke to Stephen Bruce from Kawasaki and he asked if I’d consider riding a ZX-10 again – I pretty much took the offer with both hands and thought I’m going to have to make this work, because I’m not getting the results I need and I want to be back to towards the front. That’s probably the quickest way to try and achieve that.

“It’s still all the same people [helping out], it’s just a change of brand. I’m hoping just hoping I can get back to the results I used to have on the bike and just enjoy riding it again.”

Walters is still recovering from a collarbone reconstruction, indicating his official ASBK return aboard Kawasaki machinery won’t be until Phillip Island’s fifth round on 7-8 September, ruling him out of Morgan Park next month.