Suzuki re-thinking MotoGP strategy after Ducati Open move

By Matthew Birt -

MotoGP

 07 March 2014 10:47

Ducati's decision to move to the new Open class has already forced Suzuki into re-thinking its 2015 MotoGP strategy, and is likely to put pressure on Honda and Yamaha to do the same.

Just three weeks after declaring its intention to run as a factory entry to have the capability of developing its own electronics software, Suzuki is not ruling out returning to MotoGP as an Open participant next year.

Suzuki boss Davide Brivio believes Ducati’s drastic strategic switch will put pressure on Honda and Yamaha to give serious consideration to the Open category, depending on the performance potential of the Desmosedici, which can now use extra fuel, more engines and softer tyres.

Honda and Yamaha have expressed no interest in switching to the Open class because entries must use the standard Dorna-supplied Magneti Marelli electronics.
Both have dismissed the prospect of not being able to develop their own intricate software strategies for traction control and anti-wheelie as a key reason to swerve the Open class for its official factory entries.

Suzuki will certainly closely observe the performance of the Open-spec GP14 before deciding on its final strategy for 2015, but Brivio believes a universal switch to the Open format could come as early as next year now Ducati has broken ranks with Honda and Yamaha.

Dorna boss Carmelo Ezpeleta has made no secret of his intention to have the entire grid competing under the Open class regulations by 2017 at the latest.

But Brivio told this week's MCN, “With the Ducati move it seems things are moving much quicker than we expected.  Suzuki is still working on our own electronics as a factory entry but we have to consider the Open option. 

We are in an easy position where we can assess the opening races of this season and see the level of competition and what the trend will be with Ducati and the Open bikes compared to the factory teams. But it is not only Suzuki who have to assess the situation. It will also mean HRC and Yamaha will have to consider the options.

My feeling for 2015 is that all options are possible for Suzuki as well as Honda and Yamaha.  We will keep a close eye on this but I feel there is a good possibility that in 2015 all teams will be under the same regulation.”