/Suzuki Return to MotoGP
John Hopkins riding the Suzuki MotoGP bike

Suzuki Return to MotoGP

Almost since the day in November 2011 when Suzuki officially announced they would suspend their participation in MotoGP, rumours have abounded to when they would return to the series. Amid much intrigue they returned to the track for testing in 2013 after the Catalunya round, but they surprised everyone by delaying their return until 2015.

When Suzuki announced their intention to take part in the first in season test after the Catalunya round on 17th June, they were expected to continue working towards a return to the championship in 2014. They subsequently took almost everyone by surprise by announcing they would not return until the 2015 season,  stating that the extra time would enable them to fully prepare for their return.

It is widely reported that Suzuki would like to return as serious challengers to the series, and as a result are working hard on testing their 1000CC prototype in order to fully prepare to take their place on the grid.

The squad have completed a number of tests in 2013 with test riders Randy de Puniet and Nobuatsu Aoki, both at their home circuit of Motegi and at the European tests held at Aragon, Catalunya and Mugello. Their test program will step up in 2014 as the time to return to the grid gets closer and closer, and there is speculation of wildcard appearances throughout the new season, despite new team manager Davide Brivio stating otherwise.

MotoGP has suffered in recent years with the economic situation reducing the number of factories on the grid to the trio of Yamaha, Honda and Ducati. The CRT regulations have increased the grid size to the mid twenties, but with the return of Suzuki in 2015 and Aprilia in 2016 then this will only strengthen the series. The question is, can Suzuki compete with the other factory teams?