Ex-Valentino Rossi boss keen on management return

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Valentino Rossi’s former factory Yamaha team boss Davide Brivio has spoken of his desire to return to MotoGP management, with the Italian locked in talks with Suzuki about leading the Japanese factory’s potential premier class return in 2014.

Brivio has worked with Rossi’s VR46 company since the nine-times world champion left Yamaha at the end of 2010 and though there has been no official confirmation, it is understood he has signed a deal to run Suzuki’s test team during 2013.

The Japanese factory has been testing an all-new 1000cc prototype for over a year and it will take part in six European test sessions with a view to making a permanent return to MotoGP with a two-rider effort next year.

Suzuki withdrew at the end of 2011 and has yet to make a final decision on whether plans to return in 2014 will go ahead.

Suzuki’s European test schedule will kick off immediately after the Catalunya round in Barcelona when the new bike will be pitched against the likes of Honda, Yamaha and Ducati.

Speaking to MCN during last weekend’s final MotoGP test in Jerez, Brivio said: “I have been quite close in discussion for the last few months with them and Suzuki has a plan to test during 2013 and then still thinking about entering in 2014. This is a decision that will be taken later. I am talking to them and it would be a pleasure for me to do this job but nothing has been 100% decided yet. It is a good plan to evaluate and check the potential of the machine and later on there will be a decision in the future. The idea is I could help organise the test schedule.”

Brivio said it was flattering to have been approached by Suzuki and for 2013 at least he would combine his current role at VR46 with heading up the test team.

He added: “They asked me and this was very flattering. Now I am working with Valentino and it is a job I like very much. To work for a top sportsman is very exciting but on the other hand I honestly miss the team management job. I am little bit torn about what to do. Both are very exciting but this year I will work on both and then make a decision depending on what happens beyond that.”

Suzuki had been pushing ahead with plans to return to MotoGP with its own factory effort with a project that was to be run by Brivio and based out of Italy.

But that plan appeared to come undone when Dorna boss Carmelo Ezpeleta announced during a visit to Ducati’s team launch at the Madonna di Campiglio ski resort in January that Suzuki would not be given its own slot on the 2014 grid.

Instead Suzuki would need to collaborate with or buyout an existing team to participate.
Asked how that impacted on his own aspirations to possibly lead Suzuki’s return, Brivio added: “If we start working together this year then probably it might be a natural evolution to continue in the future. Of course we heard about the declaration of Dorna but nothing has been discussed with them because Suzuki needs to decide what to do and then discuss with Dorna if there are issues or not.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt