If you’ve been keeping track of this season’s iteration of MotoGP, you’ll know what we mean when we say that the rollercoaster ride has just gotten a little more bumpy – and the icing on the cake has definitely been that Dorna Sports had no clue Team Suzuki wanted out of the World Championship.
It’s an interesting twist, given that Suzuki – like all the others – has a contract with Dorna that was supposed to last into 2026; Dorna has already made statements in a report from AutoSport that the brand can’t just quit of its own accord, and now they’ve sent that reminder to Suzuki.
When Suzuki officially released their intentions to retire from MotoGP’s paddock this past week, many of us made the estimation that the company’s middling sales figures and lack of ‘boom’ for the moto market made the Grand Prix too expensive for Suzuki’s docket.
Regardless of our assumptions, we’ll have the reason sooner rather than later, because Dorna Sports (MotoGP’s organizer and rights holder) was caught off guard by the update and plans on meeting to figure out what the heck is going on.
“Following recent rumours of Suzuki departing MotoGP at the end of 2022, Dorna Sports has officially contacted the factory in order to remind them that the conditions of their contract to race in MotoGP do not allow for them to take this decision unilaterally,” states the report.
“However, should Suzuki depart following an agreement between both parties, Dorna will decide on the ideal number of riders and teams racing in the MotoGP class from 2023.”
Naturally, given the back-and-forth, Carmelo Ezpeleta – CEO of Dorna Sports – has been brought in for the untangling of all this, with his comments recorded by MotoGP as thus:
“We were surprised by the news we received on Monday after Jerez about a communication that Suzuki had with their team regarding the board’s decision that Suzuki don’t want to continue [in MotoGP] after this season.”
“The first thing we said was ‘okay, we can understand the situation, but we need to talk to know exactly what is the situation’, because we have an agreement with Suzuki, as with the other manufacturers, which was signed last year.”
The intrigue doesn’t end there; with Suzuki looking to bow out of their obligations, other teams are eying the slots that Suzuki will be leaving behind, and Dorna is still unsure of the proceedings after the brand leaves.
“Immediately after we received the news, we had received a lot of demands from manufacturers or individual teams…for us, having a championship with five manufacturers and six private teams is exactly the same as we had last year, and having 22 riders is a good number,” continues Ezpeleta
“Depending on the proposal, we will decide whether we want to replace Suzuki or we will continue without Suzuki.”
Stay tuned for updates, drop a comment letting us know what you think, and as ever – stay safe on the twisties.