Before Suzuki’s recent decision to delay its MotoGP return until 2015, rumour was rife about who would be riding its new 1000cc machine in 2014 and beyond.
British rider Cal Crutchlow was rumoured to be a prime candidate to lead the Japanese factory had it returned as originally planned in 2014.
While Suzuki test team boss Davide Brivio’s previous connection to nine-times world champion Valentino Rossi sparked wild speculation of a possible link up between the pair again in the future.
MCN caught up with Brivio recently for his thoughts.
WAS CRUTCHLOW SUZUKI’S NUMBER ONE TARGET?
“Cal was very interesting for us and we were in contact with him. We never really went into detail because we wanted to wait for a decision on 2014 but there was some contact with his management. Randy (de Puniet) would have been interesting because he is doing a very good job for our development. We had contacts with all available riders for 2014. But I would say Cal was very interesting.”
WAS SCOTT REDDING A SERIOUS OPTION FOR 2014?
“Scott is doing very well now and his speed, consistency and riding style means he is one of the interesting young riders. I think he would like to race in MotoGP next year so it will probably be too late for us. We have a white paper for 2015 and there are many options but for sure you can’t ignore Scott Redding.”
WAS IT A SURPRISE TO THOSE INVOLVED THAT SUZUKI DELAYED RETURN TO 2015?
“Personally I was expecting a yes we will enter in 2014 or maybe stop the project. That surprised me when they said we are coming back but only in 2015. But I see this in a very positive way because they have given themselves more time. It is not an easy challenge and to have another year can hopefully help us. I see it is an opportunity to develop the bike. The challenge is to use the next year properly to improve the bike and to make this decision to wait a good one.”
WILL SUZUKI NOW DO SEVERAL WILD CARD RACES IN 2014?
“We would like to race to see the level of competition. At the moment there is no plan to do any wild cards and there is no precise plan fixed for how the 2014 testing will be structured. I hope we can try and visit more tracks and increase the number of testing.”
IS SUZUKI IN DREAMLAND TALKING TO LORENZO AND CO FOR 2015?
“It will be an open market and I am sure Honda will try and keep Dani and Marc and Yamaha the same with Jorge and Valentino. There are more riders available and target is to get the best one available. It would be great to get the number one but that has to be our attitude. The top riders have the most competitive bikes and I am sure they will try and keep it like that but we have to try.”
WILL BRIVIO AND VALENTINO ROSSI BE RE-UNITED IN 2015?
“We have to look at the best possible option and Valentino is one of those, so why not? We have to try with everybody. We have seen and I am proud to say that when we were in Yamaha we got Valentino there and that changed the history of Yamaha. We showed clearly how important the rider is and that has become obvious for the last 10 years. If we have good riders we can show our potential.”