MotoGP: Team changes rumoured for 2020?

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MCN’s sources in the MotoGP paddock have hinted that there could be big changes coming to the 2020 grid, with the Stop and Go Moto2 team reportedly vying to take over Avintia Ducati’s grid spot and switch to Suzuki machinery. Spotted in talks with Suzuki boss Davide Brivio over the weekend, the Italian denied that the Japanese factory were ready yet to launch a satellite team when questioned – but admitted that series bosses Dorna have pushed them to add two more bikes to their stable as soon as possible.

However, while Brivio denied the rumours, it’s also believed that Hafizh Syahrin’s management has been in separate talks with Dorna about his future. Representing the colossal South East Asian market on the grid, the Malaysian rider looks set to be replaced at Tech 3 KTM by Brad Binder – but could be the perfect fit for a new Suzuki satellite outfit.

Suzuki have expressed interest in running a satellite squad in the past to help with development of the GSX-RR. They were believed to have been close to putting pen to paper with the Marc VDS team twelve months ago, until the civil war that broke out within the squad scuppered their plans, and Briivo told MCN over the weekend that it’s still a key target of theirs for the future. 

“We want to do a satellite team and we tried, but there’s no possibility for 2020. We’ve said the same thing for a few years, but it looks now like we need to try the same thing again for 2021. We would really like to do it, but we have limited resources and we need to organise a proper structure. Choosing the right partner is another problem, but when we decide to do a satellite team we’ll see if there are some teams interested. Maybe next year we have to work on this to target 2021.

“There’s not been real pressure from Dorna to have four bikes, but for sure they’ve made it clear they would be happy if we did. I imagine that if we decided to do it, they would try to support us and to make it happen, like they’ve always done.”

However, Avintia themselves are also angling for a better deal for 2020, with team sporting director Ruben Xaus admitting at the weekend that they’re hunting for a Moto2 rider as well as investigating partnerships with other factories when their current Ducati deal ends.

“The first option is Ducati because we have a good relationship. I raced for them for a long time, so I know the DNA of Ducati and we are very comfortable with it. But, as always, there are situations going on in the paddock, other options are already on the table but for the moment we have a contract for two years, so let’s see what happens in the future.

“It’s clear that whoever we ride with it’s going to be really good material. Then securing whoever joins the team in the future as young talent, they will be with a good machine. Moto2 is in our point of view and there are two or three guys we are looking at and hopefully within two years we are going to have one on board.”

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer