The latest rumor to emerge from Suzuki is that it will campaign the 2012 season with its 800cc GSV-R and wait until 2013 to run its 1000cc machine.
Suzuki could delay the debut of its factory 1000cc MotoGP bike, and in a shock move race its current GSV-R 800cc machine in 2012. No final decision has been taken on whether Suzuki will even participate in 2012, and the latest rumor to emerge is the Japanese factory will stay next year but won’t roll out a new 1000cc machine until 2013.
Suzuki hasn’t even commenced track testing of its new 1000cc bike and it is looking increasingly likely that its participation next season will be with its existing 800cc machine. Suzuki would then commit to returning with a full two-rider factory effort in 2013.
“Everything is open at the moment, including the machine spec,” said Suzuki Boss, Paul Denning. “I would imagine before the end of July the situation will be a lot clearer. The most important thing is that Suzuki is in MotoGP to represent the brand and to develop new technology. But it is Suzuki’s train set and they will do with it what they see fit.”
Meanwhile John Hopkins has landed a wild card ride with Suzuki’s factory MotoGP squad for the Czech Republic race in Brno. The American will join Alvaro Bautista on a second factory GSV-R machine in the Brno clash on August 14. Hopkins scored his best ever MotoGP result at the Brno circuit when he claimed second place in the 2007 race. He went on to finish fourth in the final points standings before completing a disastrous switch to Kawasaki.
John Hopkins (#21 above) has landed a wild card ride at Brno with Suzuki and is still searching for other opportunities later in the season that work with his BSB schedule.
Hopkins has been negotiating the Brno wild card deal for weeks and turned down the chance to ride for the Gresini Honda squad to help clinch the deal. He was approached by Honda to join Marco Simoncelli in the Gresini squad to cover for Hiroshi Aoyama, who has been seconded to the Repsol squad to replace injured Dani Pedrosa.
As well as the Brno appearance, Hopkins has targeted further factory Suzuki rides later in the campaign that don’t clash with his British Superbike commitments. Hopkins has raced the 2011 GSV-R when he finished in a creditable 10th position in Jerez when he replaced the injured Bautista.
Hopkins, who currently rides for the Samsung Crescent Suzuki squad in BSB, recently stated that he was hopeful of the Brno wild card coming off.
“Right now I hope my loyalty and faith will pay off and be rewarded with a ride in Brno,” said Hopkins. “I think taking one of those (Honda) rides might have damaged those chances. I do have an obligation to Suzuki and Crescent to fulfil my commitment 100% to BSB. I’m sitting pretty well in the championship and it is a personal goal of mine right now to try and win that and give my best at that. The ultimate goal, and my whole purpose of coming to BSB, was to try and rebuild my career and get myself back into MotoGP.”