I feel the time has come for even the most avid Kawi fan to accept, with a hefty dose of realism, that the ZX10R is a good bike ... but not a great one. In terms of its racing pedigree, the bike has never really come close to its competitors - even after several years of development.
The fact that newcomers such as Aprilia and BMW whip the Kawi on first outing is just plain embarrassing.
Nobody can blame the riders. When they've changed to other rides, they've done remarkably well [Laconi; Nieto; etc] and yet the ZX10R languishes at the back of the field even with talented newcomers.
Sadly, exactly the same commentary could be made of the MotoGP series. Nakano did well when he left for Honda in 2007, and the brilliant Hopkins [4th in 2007] fell apart when trying to wrestle the ZX-RR. The only manufacturer not to score a podium, or even come close, last year - Dang !!
In summary, we need to come to the realisation that Kawasaki have been building crap race bikes for several years now. The factory engineers seem devoid of any ideas; the race team management were clueless; and the senior company executives prove themselves to be complete idiots following the MotoGP exit debacle.
As for me, I'll continue to ride my beast with pride for a bit longer ... but I'm equally resigned to the fact that my next ride will NOT be a Kawasaki. I simply can't bare the embarrassment much longer ...