Suzuki nearing MotoGP decision for 2012

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Suzuki’s MotoGP future will be decided by the end of June after bosses held crunch talks in Japan recently.

MotoGP boss Paul Denning made a whirlwind one-day visit to the Hamamatsu factory prior to the recent Estoril MotoGP round to discuss Suzuki’s participation in the new 1000cc class next season.

Suzuki blamed the on-going impact of the global financial crisis for its decision to cut its factory involvement down to just one GSV-R in 2011 and speculation has been rife about its future plans ever since.

Many thought the project being scaled back to one bike for Alvaro Bautista was the first step to a complete withdrawal at the end of 2011, but Denning told MCN: “I would say that the meetings were positive with no conclusions as yet. Suzuki’s internal process for the project is up for approval by the end of June, but the meeting gave a good platform to discuss options and ideas of how we move forward.

“I can’t speak directly on behalf of Suzuki Japan in terms of a final decision but I would say there is an optimistic atmosphere and a positive feeling that Suzuki want to remain in the championship.”

Denning said his recommendation to Suzuki senior management was for the factory to restore its involvement back to two bikes and he added: “That would certainly be, as it was for this year, the racing team’s preference and it would certainly be my huge recommendation.

“That was obviously discussed in Japan but ultimately there will be a decision based on more than my recommendations and more than what maybe sometimes makes sporting sense. There are other factors that weigh in. I believe that Suzuki will return to two riders without doubt, but the question is whether that is immediately or a couple of years down the line.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt