End Of The Line For The Suzuki Moto GP Team?
Although the team has been quite successful, Japanese big boy Suzuki could likely exit the sport owing to budget constraintsby Punya Sharma, on LISTEN 03:27
The Suzuki MotoGP team has established itself as one of the strongest teams in the paddock over the past few years. They even bagged a world title in 2020 and are currently one of the title favorites this year.
You’d expect such a strong team to be regular sighting in the MotoGP paddock for years to come, but in a shocking move, Suzuki is looking to exit from MotoGP at the end of 2022.
Suzuki To Exit From MotoGP In 2022
As hard as it is to believe, the sources are pretty solid for this news, including the very own MotoGP commentator Simon Patterson backing this.
According to Patterson, he got in touch with a few Suzuki team officials after the rumors surfaced, only to learn that this shocking exit is indeed in the pipeline.
It seems that this is a decision made at the Suzuki headquarters in Hamamatsu and has nothing to do with the team itself that’s been, safe to say, successful in the recent past.
In 2020, the Ecstar Suzuki team bagged the prestigious MotoGP world title with Joan Mir. This was backed up by a decent 2021 championship, where Mir was in the title hunt till the very end of the season, ultimately finishing in third, only 70 points behind the leader.
Even in 2022, Suzuki remains of the title favorites, with both riders showing good speed and consistently featuring in the top five.
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Why Is Suzuki Exiting MotoGP?
So why is Suzuki planning to exit from the paddock even though it’s doing well? Simply put, ’Money’.
As you’d expect, running a full factory MotoGP team requires a whole lot of resources, with R&D itself costing millions of dollars. Then, there are the rider fees (again in millions), the cost paid to renew memberships with Dorna, and the list goes on.
Couple all that with the ongoing crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to put two and two together.
This isn’t the first time Suzuki (one of the lowest budget teams on the grid) has pulled this off, though. To jog your memory, Suzuki dramatically quit the MotoGP world championship at the end of 2011 because of a global financial crisis, even though it had signed both riders for the following season.
Similarly, Ecstar Suzuki team head Livio Suppo had set forth his desire to retain both riders for 2023 just a few days ago, which makes this pill even harder to swallow.
That brings us to the two riders. With no Suzuki on the grid, both Joan Mir and Alex Rins will be left without a seat in 2023. However, sources close to the grid suggest that, if Suzuki’s exit does happen (since an official announcement is pending), Mir will probably join Marc Marquez at the Repsol Honda team while Rins will probably be aboard a Yamaha, considering it’ll suit his smooth riding style.
Being a Suzuki and Joan Mir fan, this is indeed hard-hitting news and we’re pretty you’re shocked as well. Nevertheless, these rumors are yet to be backed by an official press release (expected to follow suit) so here’s to hoping this somehow turns around.