Grant Langston Signs with Kawasaki for 2005 - Dirt Bike News - Dirt Rider Magazine

Kawasaki announced today their 2005 Supercross and Motocross teams. At first, there were no big surprises, James Stewart on a 250, Ivan Tedesco and Stephane Roncada in the 125 class... but then we scrolled down to the bottom and saw a name we weren't expecting. Grant Langston, freshly released from his KTM contract, has signed with Kawasaki for the 2005 season. Langston will be returning to the 125 class aboard a Kawasaki KX250F. Following is the press release:Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A., today announced its racing lineup for the 2005 THQ AMA Supercross Series and 2005 AMA Chevrolet Motocross Championship. Team Chevy Trucks Kawasaki will lead the company's 250 racing efforts, while Team Kawasaki/Pro Circuit/Chevy Trucks will manage the 125 team.

James Stewart Returning to the team for a fourth season is three-time professional Supercross/motocross champion James "Bubba" Stewart. Stewart recently signed on to continue a long career with the brand that began with Team Green in 1993. The 18-year-old Kawasaki rider has been touted as the "Tiger Woods of Motocross" by ESPN The Magazine, and has broken nearly every 125 record in the books. Stewart, with three 125 titles already to his credit, will be making the switch to the 250 class in 2005 and racing amongst some of the most talented athletes in the world.Michael Byrne Three-time Australian champion Michael Byrne, 25, is also returning to Team Chevy Trucks Kawasaki. Byrne is a five-time member of Australia's Motocross des Nations team and played an integral role in his country's 2002 World Cup Championship. Byrne is currently in the midst of his first full season riding in the 250 class, and his first season with Kawasaki.

"We're fortunate to have two returning riders on the team. The familiarity between the riders and the team is already in place and the camaraderie makes transition to new 2005 machines that much easier," said Bruce Stjernstrom, director, professional racing, Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. "Both Stewart and Byrne know what it takes to be a champion and will be tough competition for the rest of the 250 class."Team Kawasaki/Pro Circuit/Chevy Trucks
"Kawasaki has enjoyed much success the past 12 years with Pro Circuit managing the 125 racing efforts," continued Stjernstrom. "The lineup we have for 2005 is very strong—four of the riders on the team have AMA championships under their belts. With proven equipment, the drive to win and the experience gained in all of their careers thus far, this team has a very solid base."

Ivan Tedesco Leading the charge is returning team member and current 125 Western Regional champion Ivan Tedesco of Murrieta, Calif. In 2004, the 22-year old New Mexico native took home his first career championship aboard an all-new four-stroke motorcycle, the Kawasaki KX250F. Tedesco was a model of consistency from the very first round in Anaheim, putting himself on the podium at every round and winning seven of eight races in the chase for the title.Stephane Roncada Tedesco is joined by former 125 Supercross champion Stephane Roncada of Menifee, Calif., who is also coming back for his sophomore year with the team. The likeable 25-year-old French-born rider was on the podium six times during the 2004 125 Western Regional Supercross Series, finishing third overall in points. He carried that momentum into the current 2004 motocross series, earning second overall at the series opener at Hangtown.Matt Walker McDonough, Ga., native Matt Walker, 22, will also head back to the Team Kawasaki/Pro Circuit/Chevy Trucks tent for 2005. Walker, who was plagued with injuries earlier in the year and missed almost the entire 2004 Supercross series, is currently hitting his stride in the 2004 AMA Chevrolet Motocross Championship series. Walker has placed second overall in the last two motocross races (Unadilla, NY and Troy, Ohio) and is continuing to pick up the pace as the season continues.Paul Carpenter After spending 2004 with Team Chevy Trucks Kawasaki, 23-year-old Paul Carpenter is switching teams to join Kawasaki's venerable 125 racing organization, Team Kawasaki/Pro Circuit/Chevy Trucks. Carpenter, who is one of the most successful four-stroke riders in the sport, is a four-time AMA Four-Stroke National Champion. The 2004 season is Carpenter's first full year competing in both Supercross and motocross, and he finished out the 125 Eastern Regional Supercross Series in fourth place overall, despite missing the first round due to an injury.Grant Langston Grant Langston of Lake Elsinore, Calif., who earned his first career AMA championship in 2003 when he won the AMA Chevrolet 125 Motocross Championship, will be the newest face on a Kawasaki in 2005. The 22-year-old rider, originally from South Africa, is also the 2000 FIM 125 World Champion. He competed in the 2004 THQ AMA Supercross Series in the 250 class, but missed several rounds due to injury and is currently sitting out the motocross season in order to fully recover in time for 2005 Supercross season opener.

Team Kawasaki/Pro Circuit/Chevy Trucks has yet to determine which Supercross region each rider will compete in, though all will compete for the 125 AMA motocross title. All five riders will be competing on the four-stroke KX250F, which has seen enormous success in its debut year. The KX250F has already brought two championships to Kawasaki (2004 THQ AMA 125 Western Regional Supercross champion Ivan Tedesco and 2004 National Arenacross Series champion Darcy Lange).