The Ninja ZX-RR is a race bike from Kawasaki, which was raced in the MotoGP world championship. The bike made its debut towards the end of the 2002 MotoGP season with riders Australia’s Andrew Pitt and the Japan’s Akira Yanagawa.
In 2004, Shinya Nakano joined the team and managed to get ZX-RR’s first podium with a third place at the Japanese Grand Prix. In 2005, Olivier Jacque scored a second place at the Chinese Grand Prix. The next year Nakano finished second at the Dutch TT. In 2007, Randy de Puniet scored a second place at the Japanese Grand Prix. In 2008, it was ridden by John Hopkins and Anthony West.
The ZX-RR struggled in 2008, with the best results being two fifth place finishes from John Hopkins in Portugal and Anthony West in Brno. Hopkins and West blamed both a lack of feeling in the front end and rear traction on corner exit. Previous ZX-RRs have been difficult to ride, but beyond the limited statements by the riders it is unclear what the problems with the 2008 bike were.
At the end of the 2008 season, Kawasaki announced its retirement from the MotoGP world championship.