Despite winning the riders’ championship in 2020 and having a great position in the current season, there are reports in Europe that Suzuki is set to exit MotoGP again.
Sources within the Suzuki MotoGP team have confirmed the shocking news that the team that won the 2020 world championship will exit the series at the end of the year, leaving both Joan Mir and Alex Rins without a ride, the premier class without a manufacturer, and dozens of employees jobless.
The unbelievable announcement came out of nowhere, with new team principal Livio Suppo (who was only hired a few months ago) speaking to the media just days earlier at the Portuguese Grand Prix about his wish to keep both riders for next season and beyond.
The shocking news was delivered to the team’s personnel during today’s testing in Jerez, with the surprising news arriving completely out of the blue following a decision made at headquarters in Japan with no involvement from the team.
Suzuki, which is one of the lowest-budget teams on the grid has done this before, abruptly abandoning the sport at the end of the 2011 season after having already contracted riders for the following year.
It’s probable that comparable difficulties surrounding the COVID pandemic prompted this decision again, this time as a result of the global financial crisis.
Last April, the team announced that it had signed a new contract with MotoGP series promoters Dorna to stay in the championship until at least 2026, demonstrating a long-term commitment to the sport that few doubted at the time, given that it had just finished a highly successful 2020 season in which Mir won the championship.
With Suzuki’s decision tearing the 2023 rider market apart, his and teammate Alex Rins’ futures are arguably perhaps the most pressing concerns.
With Suzuki reportedly anxious to maintain both riders, there wasn’t expected to be much movement on that front – but now that both riders are free agents, many teams will be evaluating their options.
While the news has yet to be officially confirmed, it is expected to be confirmed in a press release sometime Tuesday morning.