Suzuki confirms MotoGP departure ‘discussions’, reveals reasons for shock exit

Suzuki breaks its silence over reports it is destined to quite MotoGP at the end of the 2022 season, confirming it is discussing an exit strategy with Dorna

Alex Rins - Suzuki Ecstar

Suzuki has broken its silence over widely reported speculation that it is on the cusp of announcing its exit from MotoGP, confirming it intends to depart at the end of the 2022 season even if it remains ‘in discussions’ with Dorna.

It’s been ten days since news first broke that Suzuki had informed its Ecstar MotoGP team - including riders Joan Mir and Alex Rins - that it would cease participation at the end of the season, though the company itself had remained tight-lipped on reports in public.

However, ahead of this weekend’s French MotoGP at Le Mans, Suzuki has put out an official statement all but assuring its intention to leave, even if it stops short of a full confirmation by stating it remains in discussions with commercial rights holders Dorna.

It also reveals why it is leaving the series it secured World Championship glory only two years ago, Suzuki says economic pressures and a shift in policy towards greener technologies were factors in its call.

“Suzuki Motor Corporation is in discussions with Dorna regarding the possibility of ending its participation in MotoGP at the end of 2022.”

“Unfortunately, the current economical situation and the need to concentrate its effort on the big changes that the Automotive world is facing in these years, are forcing Suzuki to shift costs and human resources to develop new technologies.

“We would like to express our deepest gratitude to our Suzuki Ecstar Team, to all those who have supported Suzuki's motorcycle racing activities for many years and to all Suzuki fans who have given us their enthusiastic support.”

Though its statement - no doubt distributed to ward off fevered media attention at Le Mans this weekend - isn’t quite a cast-iron confirmation, it remains a clear sign that it won’t be reversing its decision.

Indeed, reading between the lines, it would appear Dorna’s reluctance to allow Suzuki to leave so easily is holding things up. The company only recently signed an extension to its deal with Dorna to keep it on the grid until the end of 2026, with the Spanish firm within its rights to slap Suzuki with a significant penalty - most likely a sizeable fine but potentially also a ban from returning to series - as punishment for breaking its contract.

Meanwhile, speculation in Italy is reporting Suzuki’s 2020 MotoGP World Champion Joan Mir has already sourced a new deal to join Marc Marquez at Repsol Honda for 2023.

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