Suzuki has finally confirmed it is holding “discussions” with MotoGP organisers Dorna to exit the series at the end of the current season, citing the “economical situation” as reasoning.
Rumours started to swirl last Monday just after the Spanish Grand Prix that the Japanese manufacturer had elected to ditch its MotoGP programme at the end of 2022, despite the firm signing a five-year deal to compete in the championship last April.
Despite news breaking that the members of Suzuki’s racing operation had been told of the marque’s decision last Monday – and a statement from Dorna on Tuesday that reminded it of its obligation to race in MotoGP as a result of its long-term contract – the brand has remained silent on the matter.
On Thursday morning ahead of the French GP at Le Mans this weekend Suzuki finally issued a brief statement confirming its interest in quitting the series at the end of the current campaign, citing the “economic situation” that is “forcing Suzuki to shift costs and human resources to develop new technologies.”
“Suzuki Motor Corporation is in discussions with Dorna regarding the possibility of ending its participation in MotoGP at the end of 2022,” began Suzuki’s statement.
“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 will have to face a steep financial penalty to break its five-year participation contract with MotoGP, hence the reason for dialogue with Dorna that could take weeks or even months in order to prevent a potential court battle for breach of contract should it choose to leave of its own accord.
Its two riders Alex Rins and Joan Mir currently sit fourth and sixth in the overall riders points standings with six races completed so far this year, their efforts combining to help Suzuki lead the way in the teams championship by 16 points over Aprilia’s factory outfit.
Suzuki’s victory drought in the premier class currently stretches back to November 2020, when that year’s overall champion Mir scored his only career victory to date at Valencia.