Suzuki MotoGP Project Leader Shinichi Sahara says the organisation is “more united than ever” despite losing its figurehead Team Manager Davide Brivio to the lure of Formula 1.
Brivio headed up Suzuki’s premier class operation since the manufacturer returned to the series towards the end of 2014, the Italian leading the squad to five wins and culminating in a first riders world title-with sophomore racer Joan Mir- for the brand in two decades, as well as bagging the teams championship.
Brivio elected to leave the team following the Covid-19 shortened ’20 campaign in order to pursue a management role with the newly-rebranded Alpine Renault F1 team-though he currently remains in negotiations as regards his final job role within the organisation.
Sahara conceded that while Brivio’s decision to leave Suzuki for pastures new was “shocking news”, he is confident that the Hamamatsu-based marque won’t “lose the way without him”, adding that he has “full trust” in the team structure Brivio had helped to build over the past six years.
“It was shocking news. I really appreciate what Davide has done since he joined Suzuki; coming in at the start with the newly-created project and growing it to become a top team,” said Sahara on the news of Brivio’s departure.
“For sure we are affected by it, but I don’t think we are going to lose the way without him (Brivio), because we always looked at things in the same way and agreed on the direction to take.
“We also have expert staff to help us manage. I fully trust the team structure we have and the rest of the people who helped build it up.
“When Davide told all the team staff, everybody was shocked, of course.
“But before long we turned our minds towards the next steps to overcome this situation together. We will be more united than ever because we all love this brand, this team, and we will give 150% to carry on with the new challenges in the best way.”
Sahara reckons that the lack of presence from Suzuki’s long-time team-leader “should not affect anything from now on”, revealing the manufacturer will not seek a direct replacement for Brivio in the near future and instead utilise individuals already entrenched within the organisation to fill the hole left by the Italian.
“In my opinion it should not affect anything from now on. We will be working as we know how, and even more than before now that we’ve won the championship,” continued Sahara.
“Our attitude has never changed: we will aim to fight for the title again with our two strong riders, (Joan) Mir and (Alex) Rins.
“It is always necessary to fine-tune the team structure to get the maximum performance from each team member as standard procedure, even without Davide’s leaving. But I think everyone is professional enough and has the know-how to go on in the best way possible.
“I think that we can manage the situation with the people inside Suzuki, and it is the best way for us. “We know who we are, how we work, how we interact, and what we need. We won’t look for an external manager right now, we will try to manage by ourselves.”