When Suzuki announced that they would be pulling out of MotoGP at the end of the 2011 season, they were keen to emphasize that the withdrawal was only temporary, saying they were planning a return to MotoGP in 2014. Though many paddock regulars were sceptical about such a suggestion, Suzuki is sticking to its guns, it seems. In an interview with Italian website GPOne, Suzuki Racing’s technical director Shinichi Sahara reaffirmed that they were still working towards a 2014 return to MotoGP, based on the motorcycle the factory had been developing before the decision was made to pull out.
“We already had our 1000cc bike ready when Suzuki’s management decided to pull out of MotoGP,” Sahara told GPOne. “The bike has already been tested at Ryuyo, and we were very satisfied with the results achieved. We still believe we will return in 2014 with a competitive bike,” Sahara said. The Japanese engineer was also asked if Suzuki had switched to an in-line four, and though he said he could not give technical details, he did reveal that Suzuki had chose to “stay faithful to our engine layout,” a hint that the bike will remain a V4.
Sahara also revealed the extent to which Suzuki is backing the Crescent Fixi Suzuki effort in World Superbike. The factory’s support was mainly limited to financially backing the team, Sahara told GPOne, and its technical involvement limited. Yoshimura – responsible for preparing the engines for Paul Denning’s Crescent team – had very close ties with Suzuki, and Yoshimura’s development was being guided by input from Suzuki’s racing department. The chassis and setup, though, were entirely in the hands of the Crescent team, Sahara said. “Crescent is perfectly capable of doing that on their own,” he added.
This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.