ISLE OF MAN – Isle of Man based Kawasaki parade team, Team Collins and Russell will be supporting the inaugural Classic TT by displaying and parading a superb collection of green machines with a list of high quality riders, headlined by the appearance of multiple World Champion, Kork Ballington.
The South African is synonymous with Kawasaki having ridden for them between 1978 and 1982, taking both the 250cc and 350cc World Championship titles in 1978 and 1979 before switching focus to the premier 500cc class. Winner of a mightily impressive 31 Grand’s Prix from just 85 starts, Ballington, who now resides in Australia, will participate in the Classic TT lap of Honour and the Festival of Jurby on a Kawasaki H2R 750 Triple.
Team Collins and Russell, run by long time enthusiast and sponsor Des Collins and former Manx Grand Prix rider Ronnie Russell, will have up to 12 machines at the event with Hurley Wilvert, one of the first riders signed by Kawasaki in the early 1970s, also confirmed on another H2R. The American will also be on board a 250cc A1R along with former Lightweight Manx Grand Prix winner Tony Duncan.
The Manxman, recently appointed as Chief Traveling Marshal for the TT, Classic TT and Manx Grand Prix will have outings on the H2R also as well as one of the team’s 750cc ZX7-RR where he’ll be joined by fellow Manxman Gary Carswell, the 1997 Senior Manx Grand Prix winner who is still a regular TT competitor.
All of the unique machines will be on display in their own marquee in the paddock where Classic bike collector Chris Wilson will be displaying the immaculate ex-Ballington KR500 as well as one of the formidable KR750s made famous by Mick Grant, Barry Ditchburn and Gregg Hansford.
Other machines on show will include a KR1-S 250, ZX600R, ZX-10 and XR125 whilst Dave Crussell will have his H2R 750 and P&M Z1000 on the Island. Malcolm Anderson will be demonstrating his H1R-A machine and it is also hoped Rory McIntosh will have the ex-Simon Beck ZX7-RR on display. All of the machines will be on display in the paddock throughout the Classic TT event.
“Following the commitment we’ve already had from the Yamaha Classic Racing Team and Team Classic Suzuki, it is great news to have another major manufacturer represented at the inaugural Classic TT with a high quality, professional display of exotic racing machinery,” said Paul Phillips, TT & Motorsport Development Manager, Department of Economic Development. “Des and Ronnie have a long and distinguished racing pedigree and are quickly establishing themselves on the classic racing parade circuit throughout the UK and Europe.
“I am sure the fans are going to love to see so many iconic Kawasaki’s all in the one place as well as the excellent list of riders representing the team, not least multiple World Champion Kork Ballington, who is always a crowd puller wherever he goes.”