The Grand Prix motorcycle event will not be attended by Suzuki in 2014 as the Japanese company initially intended. Moto GP enthusiasts were also expecting Suzuki to be joining next year’s Moto GP but the signs are bleak. There were test runs done with the development rider Nobuatsu Aoki last year which raised the hopes of the race fans. Enthusiasm was fuelled once more when ex-Yamaha boss Davide Brivio was welcomed to the Suzuki team and was reported to have run a test crew. With all the sprung up news of preparations, Suzuki had not really given confirmation about joining the 2014 Moto GP event.
The reason behind the delay of Suzuki’s return is so that the company could focus on the development of its new 1000cc racing machine. During the first European test in Catalunya track in Spain, Suzuki boss Satoru Terada finally announced that the company will still need a lot of tweaking to do on their new bike. “I had hoped we would come back in 2014 but we need more time to develop the bike to be ready to race and get good results. So we decided to postpone for one year,” said Terada.
Aside from putting more into the development of the bike code named XRH-1, new entry guidelines don’t seem to match with Suzuki’s race implements. Dorna’s CEO, Carmelo Ezpeleta, explained early this year that Suzuki can only join the 2014 race if Suzuki could buy an existing team for its grid slots, or collaborate with an existing team with a non-factory status. Suzuki will also not be getting freight allowance and it will have to finance their own Bridgestone tires supply. Terada also expressed knowledge about the Dorna’s 2015 plans for new entrants. He added that he is unsure of who’s going to finance the tires and that no contract has yet been signed between the two companies.
Whether or not the new Suzuki bike will be up to racing standards, the decision of a Moto GP comeback in 2015 will not be changed. XRH-1 is currently equipped with Mitsubishi components but when it goes on the race track, Suzuki has to use Dorna-supplied Magneti Marelli hardware. Terada then explained that the hardware is something new to the Japanese company and that it has never been used in Suzuki bikes before. Suzuki will still have to work on their software to match the Magneti electronics.