The ex-works, Kawasaki France, Adrien Morillas
1987 Kawasaki GPX750R Superbike
Engine no. ZX750FE022122
Kawasaki's all-new contender for the hyper-competitive 750 class - the GPX750R - was launched in mid-1986. Smaller, lighter, and more powerful than its GPZ750R predecessor, the newcomer was a worthy rival for Suzuki's GSX-R, Yamaha's FZ and Honda's VFR. Before long this sale-room rivalry had extended to the race tracks with the arrival of the World Superbike Championship in 1988. The Championship's inaugural year would prove to be extraordinarily hard-fought, the title ultimately being decided by the outcome of the final round in New Zealand, Honda-mounted Fred Merkel emerging as Champion, with Yamaha's Fabrizio Pirovano second and Bimota's Davide Tardozzi third. Just 8.5 points separated the top four riders after 17 races.
WSB's first year saw all six main manufacturers (the Japanese 'Big Four' plus Ducati and Bimota) take wins, Kawasaki's sole visit to the rostrum's top step being courtesy of Adrien Morillas' victory in the second race in Hungary, achieved on the GPX750R offered here. This was the one and only GPX750R win in World Superbike, and Kawasaki would not achieve another WSB victory until 1990. An ex-motocross racer, Morillas came to road-racing at the ripe old age of 28, winning the French National 500cc Championship in 1986. In 1988 he signed for Kawasaki France, a team whose main priority was the World Endurance Championship, finishing a surprise third at the Suzuka 8 Hours in his debut season. World Superbike was something of a sideline for the team, but Morillas' Godier/Genoud-prepared GPX750R proved good enough around the tight Hungaroring to beat Stephane Mertens' Bimota by half a wheel in Race 2. Also ridden by Eric Delcamp and Emmanuel Lentaigne, the GPX was soon retired from the world stage and finished its career in the French National Superbike Championship, which it contested in 1988 and '89.
This historic Kawasaki superbike was purchased by the lady vendor's late father at Bonhams' Stafford sale in October 2004 (Lot 396) and since acquisition has been kept in dry storage. Finished in red - its 1988 WSB livery - the machine is pictured on page 19 of World Superbike Winners by Julian Ryder (Haynes, 2000). It is offered with a detailed Rapport d'Expertise (appraisal) prepared in November 2000 by Conseil Auto, of Eaubonne, for Kawasaki Motors in France. The machine was serviced by Kawasaki France mechanics immediately prior to sale in March 2002 and this is the last occasion it ran. A unique opportunity to acquire a piece of Kawasaki and World Superbike Championship History at a most affordable price.