Suzuki shocked the racing world today by confirming that it will not return to the MotoGP world championship as had been expected in 2014.
The Japanese factory has delayed its return until 2015 at the earliest in an announcement made shortly before its new 1000cc machine made its first public appearance in Europe at the Catalunya track near Barcelona.
When Suzuki suspended its MotoGP project at the end of 2011, its intention was to return with a two-rider factory effort in 2014.
Plans for the return appeared to progressing well, with frequent tests of the new bike in Japan with development rider Nobuatsu Aoki during 2012.
Hopes that Suzuki would commit to a return in 2014 were raised when Valentino Rossi’s former factory Yamaha boss Davide Brivio was signed to run a test team during 2013.
Throughout the entire process though there was still no official confirmation from board level in Japan that Suzuki would commit to a return in 2014.
MCN sources in Catalunya said on Friday night that the latest news on Suzuki’s proposed return was ‘negative’, and that has proved correct today after a statement was released out of Japan this morning.
Suzuki’s decision rules out a potential future option for British duo Cal Crutchlow and Scott Redding, who had both had contact about a ride in 2014.
A short statement from the Suzuki Motor Corporation read: “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.”