Suzuki Finally Breaks Silence On MotoGP Exit
But The Company Stops Short Of Fully Confirming Itby Harry Fisher, on
Ten days after the Suzuki MotoGP team was told the company was pulling out of racing, the company has broken its silence over the move, without actually confirming it is leaving as discussions continue with MotoGP rights holders Dorna.
Suzuki Makes Announcement Regarding MotoGP Exit
As far as speculation and rumour is concerned, the news that Suzuki had told its MotoGP team that it wouldn’t be participating in MotoGP beyond the end of 2022 was as accurate as it ever could be without an official statement from the company itself.
Ten days have passed since Suzuki management gathered team personnel at the post-Jerez test to inform them of the decision, which apparently came as a huge shock to all concerned, including MotoGP rights holders Dorna, who were quick to stress that such a decision could not be made unilaterally in the face of a contractual obligation made by Suzuki to race in the series to at least 2026.
Today, Suzuki broke its silence and made an official statement which confirmed the decision whilst stopping short of assuring its intention to leave. This is certainly because talks continue between Suzuki and Dorna as to the nature of the departure.
“Suzuki Motor Corporation is in discussions with Dorna regarding the possibility of ending its participation in MotoGP at the end of 2022.
“Unfortunately, the current economical situation and the need to concentrate its effort on the big changes that the Automotive world is facing in these years, are forcing Suzuki to shift costs and human resources to develop new technologies.
“We would like to express our deepest gratitude to our Suzuki Ecstar Team, to all those who have supported Suzuki’s motorcycle racing activities for many years and to all Suzuki fans who have given us their enthusiastic support.”
While this isn’t full confirmation, it does make clear that the decision is irreversible: all that remains now is to find out just what sanctions Dorna will impose, which could range from a hefty fine, to barring a return to the sport.
An alternative is that another team takes over the running of the Suzuki bikes, much as Ross brawn did in Formula One when he took over the Honda team and ran it under his own name. Mind you, as Honda put in $100 million to sweeten the deal, it was hardly a cheap exit for them!
Another alternative is for Aprilia or KTM to field two more bikes, again run by a satellite team. For Aprilia, that would bring parity to other teams on the grid in terms of number of bikes, while for KTM, that would give the possibility of bringing in the GasGas name to MotoGP.
This story still has a long way to run.