Suzuki: MotoGP Exit Estimated to Save Millions

Penalty for Abandonment of Dorna Contract Still TBA

A view of the Suzuki team and Suzuki supersport machines decked out for the MotoGP track - machines that will soon e defunct with Suzuki's decision to temporarily suspend their acticitive on the circuit in a purported to save funds
2022's Team Suzuki. Photo courtesy of Motorsport.

When Suzuki took the world by surprise and released a statement saying they were leaving MotoGP (taking their contractor, Dorna Sports, more than a little off guard), we were as flabbergasted as the rest of the globe…though a tad more intrigued as to the brand’s reason for leaving.

After all, you’d think the World Championship’s ability to give teams exposure and fuel sales would be useful for all brands, making the idea of axing that whole connection a rather bad decision. 

A view of Suzuki supersport machines decked out for the MotoGP track - machines that will soon e defunct with Suzuki's decision to temporarily suspend their acticitive on the circuit in a purported to save funds
A Suzuki machine on the MotoGP circuit. Photo courtesy of Motorsport.

Now, word is going around that Suzuki is bowing out due to lack of funds for the circuit, with sales figures nowhere near the peak that the Hamamatsu-based brand experienced back in 2008, thanks to the popularity of the GSX-R line

So how much money will Suzuki be saving by leaving MotoGP?

A view of the Suzuki team and Suzuki supersport machines decked out for the MotoGP track - machines that will soon e defunct with Suzuki's decision to temporarily suspend their acticitive on the circuit in a purported to save funds
2022’s Team Suzuki. Photo courtesy of Motorsport.

First off, we have to carry over the exact wording of the statement; that Suzuki in fact considers this exit  ‘temporary,’ calling to mind a similar ‘temporary suspension’ of its MotoGP activities from 2012-2014 due to fallout from the financial crisis (source: Crash.net). 

We don’t know how much the brand saved with its previous team suspension – but it worked for Suzuki before, so we hope they’ll be back soon (if Dorna lets them leave).  

In the meantime, we have some figures – thanks to Motorcycle Sports – that give us a rough estimate of the millions Suzuki will be saving in bowing out of the World Championship.

A view of Suzuki supersport machines decked out for the MotoGP track - machines that will soon e defunct with Suzuki's decision to temporarily suspend their acticitive on the circuit in a purported to save funds
A Suzuki machine leaning into the twisties. Photo courtesy of Crash.

First, we have the payment that Suzuki would have received by being a part of the Grand Prix series:

“…each manufacturer that does not have a satellite team receives at the end of the season a sum of €500,000 (£424,011 or $526215 in direct conversion); those with a satellite team receive a figure of two million euros (£1,695,400 / $2,105,210 USD) annually.”

“…for the next five years that figure would rise relatively as up to 22 Grand Prix races are scheduled to take place.”

A view of the Suzuki team and Suzuki supersport machines decked out for the MotoGP track - machines that will soon e defunct with Suzuki's decision to temporarily suspend their acticitive on the circuit in a purported to save funds
2022’s Team Suzuki. Photo courtesy of MotoGP.

Next, we factor in the approximate budget of racing top-spec machines per annum – ~30 to 40 million euros (£25,421,060 to £33,900,600 / $31,583,700 to $42,099,200 USD). 

This means that “Suzuki will save around 120 to 160 million euros (£101,717,200 to £135,622,934 / $126,335,640 to $168,447,520 USD) if that budget were to remain stable until the end of 2026.”

“Even if it is not known how heavy the penalty will be for not fulfilling a contract it signed about half a year ago, Suzuki should certainly allocate some of the amount saved to electric mobility projects,” the report continues.

A view of Suzuki supersport machines decked out for the MotoGP track - machines that will soon e defunct with Suzuki's decision to temporarily suspend their acticitive on the circuit in a purported to save funds
A 2022 Suzuki machine for MotoGP. Photo courtesy of Monster Energy.

We look forward to hearing more information on the penalty the brand will likely have to pay for bowing out of their contract early; at the very least, it will give us an idea of where the brand stands financially, to show the projected successes of their motorcycle lineup in future seasons. 

Stay tuned for updates via our shiny new webpage and our newsletter, drop a comment below letting us know what you think, and as ever – stay safe on those twisties. 

*Media sourced from Motorsport, AutoSport, Crash, GPone, and Monster Energy*