MotoGP promoter Dorna says it has reminded the Suzuki MotoGP team of its contractual obligations following its as-yet unofficial decision to pull out of the championship at the end of the 2022 season.
In a strongly worded statement release on Tuesday, the promoter said that making any such decision could not be made “unilaterally” by Suzuki.
The manufacturer agreed a new five-year contract with Dorna only one year ago, a deal that ties it to MotoGP until at least 2026, but as reported by The Race it is believed to have decided to bring its programme to an end.
While the terms and conditions of Suzuki’s agreement are not publicly known, the atypical statement released by Dorna suggests it is unhappy with Suzuki’s actions.
“Following recent rumours of Suzuki departing MotoGP at the end of 2022, Dorna Sports has officially contacted the factory in order to remind them that the conditions of their contract to race in MotoGP do not allow for them to take this decision unilaterally,” the statement read.
“However, should Suzuki depart following an agreement between both parties, Dorna will decide on the ideal number of riders and teams racing in the MotoGP class from 2023.”
Dorna’s statement continued by suggesting that other factories remain keen to step up to the premier class and take over from Suzuki – something that seems unlikely, given that leading manufacturers such as Kawasaki and BMW have repeatedly ruled out joining MotoGP.
“Dorna continues to receive high levels of interest from a number of both official factories and independent teams looking to join the MotoGP grid as the sport continues to set a global example of close competition, innovation and entertainment, reaching hundreds of millions of fans around the world,” it added.
“Interest from these parties has been reconfirmed in the past 24 hours.”
There is one way this could be achieved: via a rebranding exercise from Austrian manufacturer KTM.
This would be similar to the way it operates in both Moto2 and Moto3, where KTM machinery races variously as KTM, Gas Gas, Husqvarna and CF Moto – motorcycle manufacturers that are all subsidies of KTM parent group Pierer Mobility.