Suzuki has confirmed officially that it is in “discussions” with MotoGP organisers Dorna about exiting the championship at the end of this season, citing the “economic situation” as justification.
Suzuki Motor Corporation stated that it is “in discussions” with MotoGP owners Dorna about exiting the series at the end of 2022, marking the first time the Japanese company has spoken publicly about its departure.
Last Monday, during a one-day test following the Spanish Grand Prix, team project leader Shinichi Sahara informed all team personnel that they would be out of a job at the end of the current year.
The news comes despite Suzuki riders Joan Mir and Alex Rins currently leading the teams’ championship and only 18 months since Mir won the 2020 title.
Suzuki’s management in Japan has today openly recognised that choice for the first time after ten days of utter silence while it took its annual ‘Golden Week’ holidays. The move has badly harmed the manufacturer’s reputation in the paddock and also with many fans.
However, the statement does not totally announce its withdrawal — instead, it states that it is in talks with Dorna concerning the future.
“Suzuki Motor Corporation is in discussions with Dorna regarding the possibility of ending its participation in MotoGP at the end of 2022,” a statement from Suzuki read.
“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.”
Suzuki would suffer a high financial penalty if it breaks its five-year participation contract with MotoGP, which is why it is engaging in talks with Dorna, which might take weeks or even months, in order to avoid a potential court battle for breach of contract if it chooses to quit on its own.
The team’s deal with Dorna, which was only inked last year and runs from 2022 to 2026.
According to reports, the fee for walking away after only one year might be extremely expensive for the Suzuki factory squad, forcing frenzied negotiations between Suzuki and Dorna that they did not foresee.
With six MotoGP rounds already complete this year, Suzuki riders Alex Rins and Joan Mir presently sit fourth and sixth respectively in the overall riders points standings, with their efforts ranking Suzuki on top in the teams championship by 16 points over Aprilia.