Official confirmation of Suzuki's return to Grand Prix racing has come at last. This morning, Suzuki issued a press release announcing that they will be back in MotoGP. The bad news is that they will not return until 2015, deciding instead to spend a year developing the bike before mounting a serious challenge in the series in 2015.
As already reported, Davide Brivio is confirmed as the manager of Suzuki's team, while Randy De Puniet has been officially announced as the development rider for the bike. Nobuatsu Aoki will continue to do a lot of the donkey work in testing, in much the same role as Franco Battaini at Ducati. Both are capable riders willing to grind out the miles and test that everything is working correctly, while De Puniet, like Michele Pirro at Ducati, will try to get the bike up to race speed, to see where its weaknesses lie.
The decision to wait until 2015 makes decisions for riders a little more complex. Riders in the running for the Suzuki seat were informed last week of Suzuki's decision, giving them time to look for alternatives.
As yet, no reason has been given for Suzuki's decision to wait for another season. We hope to learn more from an official Suzuki representative later today. Whether the decision is related to Dorna's policy of having new teams fund their own entries, or whether it is related to the perceived performance deficit of the bike is unknown at this time.
Below is the official press release issued by Suzuki today:
RETURN TO MOTOGP RACING
Team Suzuki Press Office - June 17.
Suzuki Motor Corporation will return to FIM Road Racing Grand Prix MotoGP in 2015.
After two years suspension since 2012, Suzuki Motor Corporation has organised its test team to undergo more practical running tests at its advanced development stage and will participate in the official joint testing to be held at the Catalunya circuit in Spain. Through continuing running tests at the circuits inside and outside Japan for further development and refinement, Suzuki Motor Corporation will participate again in MotoGP racing from 2015.
Suzuki Motor Corporation will feed back advanced technology to be derived through MotoGP racing activity to develop further attractive production models.
The outline of testing team and racing machine to be developed are as follows:
Chief members of Europe testing team in 2013:
- Team manager: Davide Brivio
- Development rider: Randy De Puniet
MotoGP machine to be developed:
- 1000cc In-line four GP racer
Suzuki Motor Corporation