Japanese manufacturer Suzuki has finally confirmed the long-known news that the 2020 MotoGP championship-winning team will fold at the end of the current season.
First reported in early May when the team were told to start looking for new jobs, the factory only admitted at that time that they were exploring an exit – but have now agreed on terms with series promoter Dorna to pull out.
Also confirming that they would be shutting down Yoshimura SERT, the reigning Endurance world Championship-winning team as well, Toshihiro Suzuki, Representative Director and President, said in a statement that the decision was focused on sustainability.
“Suzuki has decided to end the participation of MotoGP and EWC in the face of the need to re-allocate resources on other initiatives for sustainability. Motorcycle racing has always been a challenging place for technological innovation, including sustainability, and human resource development.
“This decision means that we will take on the challenge to build the new motorcycle business operation by redirecting the technological capabilities and human resources we have cultivated through the motorcycle racing activities to investigate other routes for a sustainable society.”
However, reports continue to slowly emerge from inside the team that suggests the reality is quite different, instead coming about as the result of an internal power struggle within Suzuki’s board in Japan.
The result of that struggle is the pro-racing faction losing out and its complete withdrawal from sport, something that the team have a history of doing in the past.
It’s also believed that the long pause between informing the team and officially announcing their departure on Wednesday is the result of having to negotiate a complicated leaving agreement with Dorna.
Signing a contract only last year to remain in the series until at least 2026, it seems that the championship bosses were in a position to extract a substantial financial penalty from Suzuki for breaching those terms, something that has clearly taken months to negotiate.