Suzuki: No plans to join Open class in 2015

By Matthew Birt -

MotoGP

 24 February 2014 11:05

Suzuki will return to MotoGP in 2015 as a full factory entry, with the Japanese factory rejecting the chance to join the new Open category.

It had been rumoured that Suzuki would participate as an Open entry next year to take advantage of extra engines, softer tyres, more fuel and more options to test during the season.

But an Open bike must run the controlled Magneti Marelli electronics hardware and software, which swiftly ended Suzuki’s interest.

Suzuki doesn't want to sacrifice the opportunity to continue developing highly sophisticated strategies with its Mitsubishi software.

Honda and Yamaha is also against restrictions on software development, with HRC threatening to quit MotoGP if Dorna introduces controlled hardware and software from 2017 onwards.

Dorna wants controlled electronics across the board to slash costs and make the racing more competitive.

Suzuki boss Davide Brivio though told MCN recently: “We want to be on an equal status with Honda and Yamaha. We don’t think now that the Open class is something interesting for us. Suzuki thinks the same as the other factories that MotoGP should be the place to develop technology. And electronics is one of the most important parts of this. As the highest expression of technology, MotoGP should have free electronics. This is Suzuki thinking from an engineering view. We understand why Dorna wants to go that way in terms of saving costs and balancing performance. We might agree on that but in another way we’d like as much room as possible to develop technology. We are ready to follow Dorna’s requests but it is vital we can develop technology.”

Many think Suzuki’s decision is to create a strong Japanese alliance with Honda and Yamaha, who are both opposed to MotoGP boss Carmelo Ezpeleta’s plans to implement controlled electronic hardware and software by 2017 at the latest.

With another major factory as an ally to HRC, it could be a bump in the road to Ezpeleta’s plans, though the Spaniard remains adamant he will push his cost-saving plans through, with or without the agreement of the factories.

Ducati is expected to confirm shortly that it will race as an Open entry to aid its quest to stop a dramatic slide in fortunes.