MotoGP promoter Dorna says it has reminded the Suzuki MotoGP team of its contractual duties following its unofficial decision to withdraw from the MotoGP grid at the end of the 2022 season.
Suzuki could not make such a decision “unilaterally,” the promoter said in a sharply worded statement released on Tuesday.
The manufacturer only signed a new five-year contract with Dorna a year ago, tying it to MotoGP until at least 2026, but it is believed to have decided to end its programme, according to reliable sources.
While the details of Suzuki’s contract aren’t public, Dorna’s unusual statement shows it is dissatisfied with Suzuki’s conduct.
“Following recent rumours of Suzuki departing MotoGP at the end of 2022, Dorna Sports has officially contacted the factory in order to remind them that the conditions of their contract to race in MotoGP do not allow for them to take this decision unilaterally,” the statement read.
“However, should Suzuki depart following an agreement between both parties, Dorna will decide on the ideal number of riders and teams racing in the MotoGP class from 2023.”
Dorna’s statement went on to say that other manufacturers are still interested in stepping up to MotoGP and taking over from Suzuki something that seems improbable considering that big manufacturers like Kawasaki and BMW have previously stated that they will not compete in the premier class.
“Dorna continues to receive high levels of interest from a number of both official factories and independent teams looking to join the MotoGP grid as the sport continues to set a global example of close competition, innovation and entertainment, reaching hundreds of millions of fans around the world,” it added.
“Interest from these parties has been reconfirmed in the past 24 hours.”
A rebranding exercise from Austrian manufacturer KTM could be one way to accomplish this.
This would be similar to how it works in Moto2 and Moto3, where KTM machinery competes under the names of KTM, Gas Gas, Husqvarna, and CF Moto – all of which are KTM parent company Pierer Mobility’s subsidies.