Suzuki Out of MotoGP for 2012 Season

11/15/2011 @ 12:05 pm, by Jensen Beeler12 COMMENTS

After watching factory rider Álvaro Bautista jump ship to Team San Carlo Honda Gresini, it looks like the shoe has finally dropped on Suzuki’s involvement in MotoGP for the 2012 season, as it is being reported that Rizla Suzuki team members were emailed Friday that the factory squad would not enter next year’s MotoGP Championship.

Suzuki had been handed an ultimatum by Dorna, demanding that the Japanese company make a decision on its 2012 involvement by Friday of last week. With nary an announcement coming forth, the signs in the tea leaves pointed to Rizla Suzuki’s departure from the series, which has been further confirmed today. Though Suzuki is said to be continuing its 1,000cc MotoGP testing program, reports peg the company’s return to GP racing as soon as 2014, if at all.

The issue seems to stem from the highest levels of Suzuki’s corporate management who, after seeing historically lackluster results in MotoGP, have begun to question the expenditure of racing in the premier motorcycle racing series. Though Rizla Suzuki, with Álvaro Bautista at the helm of the Suzuki GSV-R, has made considerable improvements this past year, especially the latter part of the 2011 season, the effort might be too little, too late.

While Suzuki has been rumored to be testing a 1,000cc MotoGP back in Japan, the existence of such a program is doubted by some in the MotoGP paddock. Regardless of its existence, with no budget to field the team and to continue development throughout the year, Suzuki’s hopes of GP racing on a true factory level seem to be out of reach for the Japanese company.

As MotoGP is sure to get a format revamp in 2013, whatever bike Suzuki is or is not working on would have to undergo further modification, and there is always the lingering possibility that Dorna will do away with the factory involvement altogether.

Source: MotoMatters; Photo: Rizla Suzuki

  • Jake Fox

    This is sad news indeed. I dream of Suzuki, Kawasaki, and Aprilia competing in the premier class but it looks increasingly likely that unless something substantial changes in these next few years MotoGP could be relegated to the dustbin of history.

  • Westward

    Not sad news at all. Suzuki lacks commitment. They lacked in MotoGP and WSBK (Just ask Haslem). I am tired of seeing space fillers, I want to see competitors with an actual chance for victory.

    In Suzuki’s golden years, it was more the passion of Schwantz, than it ever was their technology. Even then, if not for the misfortune on his greatest competition in Rainey, Suzuki may not have even won in that season of 93’…

    As for the CRT’s, if not successful in it’s first year, I give it three years total, until it is scrapped and something new is in place…

  • Dan

    Hmm… Wasn’t Suzuki the championship winner 11 years ago. They just never really did anything in the 4 stroke era. Too bad too. It’s nice to see a full grid. Moto2 has been very entertaining.

  • Westward

    Moto2 is made up of all Honda engines. So, I’m not missing Suzuki too much…

  • MikeD

    Suzuki: I got 99 money- bike problems but a bitch ain’t one.

  • Damo

    I would be upset if the whole MotoGP field changed to a CRT format, bold statement I know.

    But after watching two excellent seasons of Moto2, I can’t help but think the format creates some great racing. I am totally against a spec engine for the premiere class, though.

    MotoGP 2012 is shaping up to be the Dani and Casey show. I am pulling for Dani, poor sod can’t seem to catch a break. Always the bride’s maid never the bride and all that.

  • Westward

    “Can’t catch a break?”

    He breaks something every year… Pedrosa has had every possible break a GP pilot can get, both literally and figuratively…

  • John

    Let’s see….after effing around for the entire four stroke era with piss poor results, Suzuki finally begins making real progress in GP only to bow out at the last minute. I knoiw that times are tough and I can’t blame Suzuki for making this decision based on what it thinks is in its best interest, however, the way this has played out is pretty sad. Just say you quit and be done with it rather than stringing folks along. Good Riddance

  • Steve B

    The half-hearted look from the outside is what you seen when there’s a big internal fight over a program. Some guys want to kill it, others want to expand it, and the result is lackluster.

    As for the future, word is Suzuki are testing an inline 1K along with the V, which would make better commercial sense than the V they’ve been running. Not much sales bump out of a bike you don’t sell anything like and never have. No one identifies V4’s with Suzuki after all.

    The inline makes sense especially if MotoGP goes the claiming rule route, which I think it will sooner or later. Heck I’ll go out on a limb and speculate that within a couple of years years WSBK and WSS will go down a Superstock path, with a lot more production components required than current, while MotoGP and Moto2 will not have spec engines, but will require production-based engines and probably spec ECU’s. Maybe even a requirement for engine suppliers to be willing to supply X number of teams with motors at a set price ceiling if they want to be approved for entry.

    Blasphemy, maybe, but consider the potential benefits. More teams, more external sponsors, better competition, and factory decision makers who can more easily connect the dots between the MotoGP grid and the sales floor. Not a terrible outcome, and it gets better when you think about the ensuing product trickledown that would be available on the showroom floor. Just look at motocross for the model…

  • MikeD


    Yup, i have read those too. I hope they are doing so and stick to the I-4.
    U make some fair points as to why stick to the I-4…maybe not 100% on the $ but fair enough.
    Personally, i too see Suzuki as a leading I-4 builder…even if they made/make some stumpin V’s( i currently own a 2K3 SV1000N) so i would at least say they know a thing or two about V’s but im a little biased too. LOL.

  • Greg

    Sad it is to see Suzuki go…not that I’m a fan particularly but like the competition nonetheless. As far switching to all CRT format, that is downright stupid! That’s like saying Ferrari, Mercedes, Renault etc are no longer allowed to run factory teams in F1. Why the frick would I want to watch F1 w/o the legendary factory squads duking it out anymore!? Same in MotoGP – yes innovative, challenging competition from private constructers would be awesome to see just as watching McLaren or Red Bull stick it to Ferrari in F1 is salivating – but I still love and desire to see big factory teams like Honda, Yamaha, & Ducati do battle on the blacktop! MotoGP should allow rules like in F1 where there can be many teams private & factory running whatever engine, etc they deem. Like Mercedes runs there full factory squad yet private constructors such as McLaren & Force India run the same drivetrain… Yet what is so sick about that is one hand you can have McLaren spanking Benz w/ their own power yet Benz can turn around & still outpace Force India w/ same engines… SO why can’t have several private teams in MotoGP all running Ducati L4s, Honda V4s, Yamaha I4s, Suzuki I4s, Aprilia V4s, Honda I4s, BMW I4s, etc etc using whatever chassis they want as long as they meet the minimum regs???? That would be perfection – MotoGP grid made in Heaven :) !!!!! Just a sick grid chalk full of CRT & Factory prototypes – no production based BS at all! Just let them fight it all out . . . Besides…then maybe private team could actually build a Ducati L4 bike w/ the right chassis, that doesn’t need Stoner to even win, and then b****slap Ducati Marlboro around w/ their own game (let alone the rest of the grid) ;)

  • Steven

    This actually sucks. Suzuki was just now reaching a point for me where they were fun to root for. No one wants to root for Stoner. That’s to easy, of course he’ll win or at least get 2nd or 3rd. Its the rest of the grid that entertaining. Its just like F1. All the real action happens starting at 4th place.