MotoGP 2013

Suzuki broke some hearts today by announcing that the company’s MotoGP team would not return to the premier class until 2015, instead of 2014 as was rumored.

Telling perspective riders last week about the decision (so they could make alternate plans for next season), Suzuki was still at the Circuit de Catalunya for MotoGP’s post-race test, joining Yamaha Racing (which elected not to go to the rain-sodden Motorland Aragon circuit), Ducati Corse, and a bevy of satellite and private teams.

Shaking down its inline-four GP race bike, codenamed the Suzuki XRH-1, Nobuatsu Aoki was first-up on the machine. But the day’s real work was done by Randy de Puniet, who put in an impressive 1’42.676 lap time near the end of the day — just over three quarters of a second off the top time set by Jorge Lorenzo.

However, despite the impressive debut for the XRH-1, Suzuki’s official reason for its delay back to GP racing is the pace of development on the project.

Part of that development process surely is for the electronics, as Suzuki is currently using an electronics package from Mitsubishi, though the company expects to switch over to the spec-ECU from Magneti Marelli later this year, in the autumn.

If that all whets your appetite, our favorite Hungarian Photographer/Journalist Niki Kovács (be sure to follow her on Facebook & Twitter) has sent us nine more photos of the Suzuki XRH-1, which are after the jump for your viewing pleasure.

Be sure to note the XRH-1’s staked gearbox (a very Yamaha design), which is mated to the “big bang” four-banger. The twin-spars of the aluminum chassis looks likes like an evolution of the GSX-R platform, which shouldn’t be too surprising — though when Satoru Terada talked to GPone, he said that Suzuki hasn’t begun work on a new WSBK machine.

MotoGP 2013

MotoGP 2013

MotoGP 2013

MotoGP 2013

MotoGP 2013

MotoGP 2013

MotoGP 2013

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MotoGP 2013

Photos: © 2013 Nikolett Kovács / – All Rights Reserved

  • TheSwede

    Love that Susuki blue, and the livery is top notch

  • WilCon

    Interestingly with the 2015 announcement doesn’t that mean Spies will be available? Maybe by then John Hopkins will be fully healed and they plan to bring him back? I think they should hire Kenny Roberts to run the team and let him find a rider.

  • TexusTim

    really like the colors and layout//livery….think king kenny would dive bike into the mix ? not sure bout that one…Im a fan of collin becoming a team manager/ owner one day..he is such a fixture in motogp. and has that special personality riders would like. swede you think the blue is “pearl vigor blue” like the gsxrs ?

  • monkeyfumi

    Can we please just give up on the notion that John Hopkins will be returning to motogp. There are a number of good reasons why he is no longer there.
    On a more positive note, the new bike just looks “right”, none of the awkwardness of the later GSVRs’

  • Damo

    Coming along nicely.

  • M

    Image links broken?

  • Caching issue I suspect. Refresh and try again.

  • coreyvwc

    Every time single time Suzuki manages to produce an absolutely stunning MotoGP bike, yet their production sportbikes are the most bloated and outdated machines in the industry. Hopefully some variant of this design will cross over to their LONG overdue new sportbike.

    Oh, and their is not a chance in Hell that John Hopkins or Kenny Roberts will be involved with the race team in two years time. Possibly Spies, but that’s also looking like a long shot at this point. Give it up folks, the only suitable American road racer (besides Nicky) is 38 years old and currently riding a Yamaha AMA superbike.

  • Norm G.

    re: “Suzuki broke some hearts today by announcing that the company’s MotoGP team would not return to the premier class until 2015, instead of 2014 as was rumored.”

    way to go Suzuki, keep stringing ’em along. looks like some folks just got SUCKERED for a year. like to try for 2…? told ya. curious, where’s ezpelata on all this…? he doesn’t give a rat’s how nice the kit looks. hammamatsu can “announce” all they want, but without a corresponding announcement of a 3yr commitment to motogp…? all of this smoke and mirrors guys. innit…?

  • Norm G.

    re: “The twin-spars of the aluminum chassis looks likes like an evolution of the GSX-R platform, which shouldn’t be too surprising”

    look again, it’s a copy of one of Honda’s early 213 chassis.

  • SBPilot

    Is “big bag” a new type of engine or is it big bang.

    Bike looks great, not feeling the colour though. On the plus side, I think Lorenzo/Pedrosa/Marquez is at least 4 tenths quicker than RDP just in skill alone, which would put the bike even closer to the Yamaha/Hondas than one would think. Very impressive Suzuki, already a faster bike than the Ducati.

  • Norm G.

    ps: for the record, there are FAAAR worse things they could copy.

    re: “yet their production sportbikes are the most bloated and outdated machines in the industry.”

    in their defense, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. that’s a perception derived from ignorance. which is quite an irony given the “wired” age in which we live…? the 25 year history of the GSXR i’m sure is but a google search away. how any self-respecting motorcyclist does not know this is beyond me…? it’s out there for all to see. just a cursory glance would reveal that the GSXR pedigree is actually…


    but instead we have comments like the above proliferating the internet. this would never happen up in car world, with say… Porsche. only in motorbikes. :( btw, the only manufacturer that matches Suzuki isn’t Japanese at all… they’re Italian.

  • CTK

    GSXRs are anything but bloated, they are right in the mix and still very competitive

    This bike looks pretty cool and I’m glad it seems up to speed. All I want to know now is the firing order.

  • Bike looks great and seems to go pretty good too. Best thing Suzuki could do it give the ride to someone like Crutchlow who truly deserves it. Young, talented, super fast racer and not a has been beat up racer. Crutchlow and Redding that’s a good line up.

  • coreyvwc

    Re: Norm G.
    Relax relax my friend, you’re talking about racing pedigree which Suzuki undeniably has LOTS of. I’m talking about design and aesthetics, i.e. ingredients that make a good looking motorcycle. This is the area where Suzuki is lagging far behind in terms of production designs. The company still makes a fine motorcycle, but they just desperately need to revamp the design. Not just more stickers and atrocious color options. There is reason the company as a whole is in dire straits, no one is buying what they’re (still) selling…

  • ZZZZ

    I’m no fan of Suzuki’s road bikes but I was really keen to see another brand mix it up next year – esp. if it had a non Spanish rider on board. I’ll continue to wait… sigh

  • Crazy

    no hopkins and no spies. Suz needs riders like jorge dani marq, espa maybe?

  • TexusTim

    this plays right into the hand of ben spies…I just hope over the next year and a half all goes well for him..would really like to see him out there on suzuki’s comeback year..I think the guy’s paid his dues.and his time is comming. P.S.leave your mom at home for reals…lol

  • Gonzo

    Why can’t they put bodywork like that on a GSXR, instead of the ugly crap they do now? Suzuki’s have been ugly as sin for years now.