WSB: Suzuki return unlikely for 2018

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There is ‘no realistic plan’ for Suzuki to make a return to the Superbike World Championship in 2018, series bosses have told MCN.

After the Japanese marque released a new model in 2017, speculation was rife that they’d seek a return to the world stage, where they haven’t raced since Paul Denning’s Crescent Suzuki team moved to Yamaha ahead of the 2015 season.

However, series director Daniel Carrera tells MCN while they’ve had informal talks with Suzuki, it’s unlikely they’ll return next year with the impending rule changes designed to create a more level playing field not due to come in force until 2019.

“We’ve had some informal conversations, but there is not a realistic plan to have them here next year,” he confirmed.


While there’s interest from Yoshimura USA, who are currently leading the MotoAmerica Championship with Toni Elias, and the IDM German Superbike team, the funds are lacking for a full WSB effort from either.

Suzuki might not be the only manufacturer not on the grid next year with BMW also threatening to pull out of the series over the proposal of introducing a spec-ECU. However, Carrera believes this is more to do with the German manufacturer focusing on a revolutionary update for the S1000RR set to be unveiled ahead of 2019.  

“One manufacturer [BMW] is focusing on a new model, so maybe they stop next year but come back in the future. We saw that in the past with some manufacturers. But they’ve already done this. They went away and came back with a new team structure.” 

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Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing