Motorcycle: Suzuki is sending an alarming signal

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Sent

The Hamamatsu manufacturer has (finally) made official what many have known since the day after the Spanish GP. Starting next year, there will be one less brand in MotoGP.

by

Jean-Claude Schertenleib

Reminding the facts: The bomb exploded on May 2, that is, ten days ago. MotoGP teams stayed at the Jerez de la Frontera circuit, which hosted the traditional Spanish GP the previous day. At 4 pm, staff and staff of the Suzuki Ecstar team are called for an information meeting.

Faces are off at the end of what has been said: “You’ll know we’re not talking” barely throws Livio Suppo, the team manager Suzuki hired this winter; for a contract valid for several years. In the afternoon, the first leaks appear: “Suzuki will be pulled at the end of the year!” Some believe an official press release will be released Tuesday morning, but nothing.

Except for a backlash from world championship organizer Dorna reminding that “we cannot unilaterally break a contract and Suzuki has extended its deal with the MotoGP promoter until the end of 2026”. The reaction of a body as important as Dorna to what happened at the time… just a rumbling proves that everyone is surprised, nobody knows, all the way to the top of the MotoGP organizational chart. And it’s alarming!

No information, too much information!

Joan Mir was in shock after the announcement of Suzuki's withdrawal, we would have been less.

Joan Mir was in shock after the announcement of Suzuki’s withdrawal, we would have been less.

AFP

Days pass, the formalization is too late. So everyone has a little secret, as it is necessary to darken the paper – or rather to feed the curiosity of internet users. With two Suzuki drivers Joan Mir and Alex Rins in shock, we’d be less upset. “The president wanted to continue MotoGP, the general management had the last word,” some say. Others reply, “It’s not true, everyone knows the president doesn’t like motorcycles, he’s a car guy.”

Before I forget: “And then Suzuki, which is involved in a scandal similar to that of Volkswagen in the United States – the “diesel door” or the fraudulent reduction of polluting emissions in German cars – will have to pay fines of up to several billion.

It goes in all directions. Until the announcement on Thursday morning, May 12, the day after the financial results of Suzuki Motor Company, which we learned that the automotive sector’s profit fell 18.2 from April 2021 to March 2022. %, the share of the motorcycle industry is 59.5%.

Some very raw lines

The text of this press release can be summed up in a few lines: “Suzuki Motor Corporation is in talks with Dorna on the possibility of ending its participation in MotoGP at the end of 2022. Unfortunately, the current economic situation and the need to concentrate our efforts towards major changes in motor vehicles underway, It forces Suzuki to cut costs and refocus its human resources on the development of new technologies.Our deepest gratitude to the Suzuki Ecstar team, to everyone who has supported Suzuki’s sporting activities over the years, and to all the fans of the brand who have kept us excited.

What about 2023… and beyond?

A historic manufacturer’s withdrawal from motorsport – this is not the first time Suzuki has withdrawn from GPs; in addition, the brand has not been involved in world motocross for five years – an alarming signal. Just as Malaysian sponsor Petronas waived at the end of last season. Could the quality and intensity of the MotoGP show be nothing more than a tree hiding the forest by a well-known formula?

“You can’t unilaterally break a contract, but I don’t think there is a solution. And we are no longer concerned with forcing someone to continue if they don’t want to.

Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna

While waiting for an official position from Dorna, Carmelo Ezpeleta, Dorna’s CEO, told a Spanish “twitch” channel, “You can’t unilaterally terminate a contract, but I don’t think there is a solution. And we are not interested in forcing someone to continue if they don’t want to. We have a lot of requests to fill the two places that should be available, and now my role is to work on this file in peace.

Aprilia: double bet?

If the name GasGas had been heard to reclaim the two places left vacant by Suzuki (then it would have been two additional KTMs “badged” in the colors of the Pierer Mobility group’s Spanish brand), many in the paddock ponder that. Aprilia can double the bet: “We want to trust a young team”, admits boss Massimo Rivola.

“We’ll find out in a month,” adds the ex-manager of Ferrari’s next generation. New rumor: Yamaha “satellite” team (Dovizioso and Darryn Binder) are looking for another builder-partner!

Sentence: Alex Rins

Alex Rins, Suzuki driver.

Alex Rins, Suzuki driver.

AFP

“I think we have the best package Suzuki has ever had. So let’s show them they made the wrong decision”: Alex Rins is fourth in the middle class of the world championship on the eve of this French GP. And he is more motivated than ever before.

Domi, electric eclectic

Before returning to the supersport world championship in a week in Portugal (Estoril), Dominique Aegerter is in second place in this weekend’s FIM MotoE Cup after the first two rounds in Jerez de la Frontera. “Le Mans is a historic circuit, the weather there is often special, but my goal is always the same: to fight for victory and podium in every race,” explains Bernese.