After leaving MotoGP at the end of the 2011 season, the paddock had been full of rumours of Suzuki’s immenent and expected return next season, with plenty of speculation on who would be running the team and which riders had been approached to ride the blue machines.
An official press statement released today (Monday 17 June) instead confirmed that Suzuki will not return until the 2015 season.
The Japanese factory still arrived on Sunday for the post Catalunya Grand Prix testing as scheduled.
The delay, according to Suzuki, is to allow for more development – to come back as competitive as possible, however it also ties in with Dorna’s announcement of no funding help in 2014 for new entries, including flights and tyres where the 2015 season will be supplemented based on performance.
What they did reveal was that Valentino Rossi’s manager Davide Brivio will be managing the project, leading to wild speculation regarding the Italian as his contract with Yamaha only runs until 2014, and their development rider will be Randy De Puniet, who will be testing the bike today.
Full press release below:
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