TOKYO: Suzuki has pulled out of MotoGP because of economic problems but may return in 2014, the Japanese manufacturer confirmed.
“This suspension is to cope with tough circumstances mainly caused by the prolonged recession in developed countries, a historical depreciation of Japanese yen and repeated natural disasters,” the motor company said.
“Having an eye to returning to MotoGP in 2014, Suzuki will now focus on developing a competitive new racing machine for that class,” it said in a statement posted on the official MotoGP website on Friday.
Japanese motor companies, along with other manufacturers, have been hit by a shutdown or cutdown in production following the March earthquake-tsunami which devastated Japan’s northeast, and floods in Thailand have disrupted the global supply chain.
Rizla Suzuki team manager Paul Denning, who had tried to encourage the company to continue racing in MotoGP, said on Twitter: “It’s now – very sadly – official. Suzuki is out of MGP for 2012/13.”
“I’m sorry for all the guys on the team, our partners, friends and fans,” he said. “Really thought we’d pulled it together – silver lining is that Suzuki has expressed its clear intention to come back in 2014. Thanks to all.”
Suzuki said it would “continue motocross racing activity and support of road racing activities using mass-produced motorcycles, by obtaining FIM (International Motorcycling Federation) homologation and co-operation with the supplier of its development racing kit parts.”
The company had been expected to quit MotoGP having already lost its only MotoGP rider, Alvaro Bautista, to Gresini Honda for next season. — AFP