Here’s the Real Reason Why Suzuki Is Leaving MotoGP
A memo sent to U.S. dealers spells out reasons for departure and confirms commitment to motorcyclingby Harry Fisher, on
While still waiting for an official statement from Suzuki regarding their departure from MotoGP, a memo to US dealers gives more details and reiterates the company’s commitment to motorcycling, ATVs, and scooters
Suzuki Spells out reasons for MotoGP departure
It’s been over two weeks since Suzuki dropped the bombshell on its MotoGP team and the paddock in general that it was pulling out of the sport at the end of the 2022 season.
Since then, there has been no official explanation from Suzuki, perhaps because it is in continuing talks with MotoGP rights holder Dorna, who made it very clear that any decision to leave could not be made unilaterally, especially as Suzuki had signed a contract to stay in MotoGP until 2026. Now, however, www.cycleworld.com has reported that it has received a copy of a memo sent by Suzuki to its U.S. dealers, giving reasons behind the decision and reiterating its commitment to its core business of motorcycles, ATVs, and scooters.
The statement reads as follows:
“Suzuki Motor Corporation is, in fact, exploring leaving MotoGP at the end of 2022 and is negotiating with series organizer DORNA on an exit plan. This decision has been made in light of the changing market environment and is part of a strategy to allocate resources to ensure the health and vibrancy of Suzuki’s overall business—particularly in the areas of sustainability, carbon neutrality, and alternative fuel technologies. Like all companies, Suzuki is adjusting to a rapidly changing world."
“This business decision does not undermine Suzuki’s dedication and commitment to its motorcycle and ATV business or the U.S. powersports market."
“Suzuki Motor Corporation and Suzuki Motor USA, LLC are committed to powersports and the U.S. market and will continue to deliver and service the premium quality Suzuki motorcycles, ATVs, and scooters you’ve come to expect.”
The statement then went on to stress its support for its racing commitments in the U.S., including MotoAmerica, AMA Supercross, AMA Motocross, and NHRA Pro Stock Drag Racing
Of all the Japanese manufacturers, development of Suzuki’s road bike range has stagnated a little in recent years. What new models there have been are revised versions of existing models: the Hayabusa and GSX-S1000/GT range being two examples.
It’s clear that this story still has a long distance to run, not least because of the ongoing discussions with Dorna, which could see Suzuki supply bikes and technical services to a team wanting to take over the running of the GSX-RR MotoGP bikes as one of the options. That might be a better option for Suzuki than a huge fine and prevention of future participation.
The fact that there are teams - and possibly manufacturers - waiting in the wings to take over the spaces on the grid left by Suzuki, means that MotoGP will not suffer from the loss of two bikes on the grid. However, whether the replacement team will have the ability to run at the front as Suzuki has done for the past three years is another matter. MotoGP was in rude health with six different factory teams and, while the loss of one isn’t a disaster, Dorna will want to ensure that other factories don’t look at Suzuki and see a grain of truth in their decision: that MotoGP absorbs a lot of money and resources that might be better spent preparing for the next phase in motorcycling in general.