WHEN Suzuki dropped to one rider for this season it looked like the beginning of the end for the former GP winners, however it seems that the Japanese manufacturer will still make the grid in 2012 with a project focussed on the 1000cc increase.
In a statement from Motul, the oil company declared a continued collaboration with the Japanese manufacturer into the 2012 regulations changes:
"With the move next year towards 1000cc machines, Motul's engineers and their Suzuki counterparts have started to work on new projects to ensure that the Rizla Suzuki team have exactly the right products available from the outset. MotoGP provides the challenge of real-time research and development for Motul's products and the testing they undergo is rigorous; prototype machines operate at 18,000 revs per minute/250bhp!"
The trouble faced by Suzuki’s MotoGP effort is a lack of available resources dedicated to racing. Taking a rival manufacturer such as Honda for example, they have a facility focussed entirely on motorcycle sport with HRC, whereas Suzuki has to spread the demands across the whole of its divisions.
Possibilities for next year could mean that Suzuki have the option to continue with the 800cc GSV-R to assess the competitiveness of the new regulations. The bike will have a weight advantage against the new prototype 1000s with 150kg compared to the 153kg minimum for the larger capacity and the 800 would be able to use the 24 litres of fuel more efficiently.
In regards to the rider line-up, speculation has lead discussions that John Hopkins’ wild cards this season could see the American return and joining Alvaro Bautista, should the Spaniard renew his contact – his two-year deal expires at the end of this season - for 2012.