Suzuki announces MotoGP withdrawal
The Suzuki Motor Corporation has confirmed that it will not be represented on the MotoGP grid in 2012.
The Japanese manufacturer scaled back to just one bike for the 2011 season, and did not attend the post-season test, where Honda, Yamaha and Ducati ran their new 1000cc machines.
The news from Suzuki comes a little over a week after its rider Alvaro Bautista, who finished 11th in this year’s championship, will be moving to the Gresini Honda team next year.
In its official statement, Suzuki indicated it hopes to return to the premier class of motorcycle racing in 2014.
“Suzuki Motor Corporation has decided to suspend temporarily its participation in FIM Road Racing Grand Prix MotoGP from 2012,” read the statement.
“This suspension is to cope with tough circumstances mainly caused by the prolonged recession in developed countries, a historical depreciation of Japanese Yen and repeated natural disasters.
“Having an eye to returning to MotoGP in 2014, Suzuki will now focus on developing a competitive new racing machine for that class.
“Suzuki will continue motocross racing activity and support of road racing activities using mass-produced motorcycles, by obtaining FIM homologation and co-operation with the supplier of its development racing kit parts.”
The Suzuki team had not won a MotoGP race since Chris Vermeulan triumphed in the 2007 French Grand Prix, and last tasted championship success with Kenny Roberts Jr in 2000.