Suzuki has confirmed it will return to MotoGP to contest the 2015 championship. The Japanese marque, which suspended its defunct MotoGP program in 2011, made the announcement hours before its development team’s debut in post-race testing at the Catalunya circuit.
A press release from Suzuki
announcing the return confirms Davide Brivio will serve as Team Manager, with Randy de Puniet
as development rider. Brivio is the former Factory Yamaha team manager for Valentino Rossi, who stepped down from that role after Rossi’s departure – though he did not follow The Doctor to his ill-fated tenure with Ducati. De Puniet has already been spied riding the new Suzuki in private tests.
Long rumored and seen in spy shots, the Suzuki GP racebike will be an Inline Four configuration – like Yamaha’s M1. The previous GSV-R Suzuki racebikes were V-Four configurations.
Suzuki had previously announced intent to return in 2014
. Reports have cited friction between Suzuki and Dorna on the factory’s return to racing. Suzuki was reputedly forced to source a spot on the grid from an existing team.
The official press release from Suzuki reads:
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