Noticeably absent from the silly season slogging has been the factory Suzuki MotoGP team. Although we know that Suzuki intends to stay in MotoGP for at least one more season, despite a continued tradition of mediocrity, very little other information has come forward. Perhaps at the top of the rumor heap is the speculation that Rizla Suzuki will potentially field only one bike in the 2011 MotoGP season, electing not to replace Loris Capirossi who has been linked to the Pramac Ducati team.
While Alvaro Bautista may seem himself as the Suzuki rider in the 2011 season, rumors persist that if Rizla Suzuki does field a second bike it would likely be with Frenchman Randy de Puniet at the helm. De Puniet has found his stride this year (despite breaking his leg, no pun intended), staying out of the gravel traps, and at times besting his factory Honda compatriots. LCR Honda is surely keen to keep de Puniet on-board for the 2011 season, but money is likely wooing the Frenchman (or he’s just shopping for leverage in his contract negotiations with LCR).
Should Randy de Puniet make the switch to Rizla Suzuki, Moto2 riders Toni Elias and Alex de Angelis could return to the graces of MotoGP racing, and are linked as being in contention with the satellite Honda team for a contract next year. LCR had hoped to have this matter wrapped-up by this weekend at Misano, and now it seems Suzuki will make an announcement about the future of its team at the next round, which is the Japanese GP at Motegi. Signs of done deal, or another shoe waiting to drop to the floor, we’re not sure, but as always time will tell.