Susan… | Which teams could replace him in the elite?
Suzuki is set to confirm its exit from the MotoGP World Championship to leave two enticing entry grid spots which commercial rights holder Dorna will actively seek to fill.
Although the news has yet to be officially confirmed by Suzuki itself, multiple sources have confirmed that the team – including riders Joan Mir and Alex Rins – were made aware of the shock decision after Monday’s test at Jerez. .
His unexpected exit at the start of his deal with Dorna which was supposed to commit him to the series until the end of 2026, means the grid will likely shrink to 22 bikes in 2023, having just increased to 24 with the return by Gresini. Races.
Dorna has previously indicated his desire to have at least 26 bikes on the grid – up to a maximum of 28 – in the near future, but he is unlikely to enjoy a slide to 22.
Any direct replacement for 2023 should be limited to adding a private or satellite effort using factory supplied machinery, although Dorna may be motivated to seek a factory alternative for 2024. But which teams and which manufacturers could be offered a tempting deal to move up to MotoGP in the future?
Aprilia Satellite Team
While Suzuki and Aprilia stand out among the six manufacturer competitors as having no associated satellite team, Suzuki’s exit further highlights Aprilia’s relative lack of grid presence.
Despite this, Aprilia has stated on several occasions that it fully intends to add a satellite effort once its RS-GP is more competitive, a goal it has certainly fulfilled this season with its first victory of the modern MotoGP era at the hands of Aleix Espargaro.
Truth be told, she had every intention of leading a second team in 2022 with Gresini Racing, her collaborative partner before this season before her plan to make the effort in-house, but the Italian team chose Ducati instead.
As for which team might be drawn to race, the offer is less clear cut with a number of well-sorted Moto2 and Moto3 outfits potentially in contention, such as Leopard Racing or – poignantly – SIC58, owned by Paolo Simoncelli, father of late ex-Marco Simoncelli, Aprilia 250GP and MotoGP rider.
With Suzuki’s departure bearing similarities to that of Kawasaki’s exit from the sport in 2009, it’s possible its GSX-RR machines could survive into 2023 as part of a new privateer team effort not associated with Suzuki, just like the ZX-RR did under the Hayate banner.
However, that would be an unlikely scenario as Kawasaki’s decision to leave MotoGP came after completing much of the development work on its ZX-RR. Then again, if Suzuki were open to selling their year-old bikes, they would surely still be relatively competitive for another year or two.
KTM was quick to express interest in securing Suzuki’s grid slots, driven by a desire to potentially get one of its other associated brands on the GASGAS grid.
The Spanish MX specialists were acquired by KTM’s parent company Pierer Group in 2019 and quickly branched out into short-course racing with entry into the 2021 Moto3 World Championship before expanding into Moto2 for 2022.
Although the effort is purely a rebranding effort of existing KTM machines in Moto3 and essentially a title sponsor in Moto2, it would function as a manufacturer’s sixth entry into MotoGP. In addition, it would be under the Spanish flag, which would no doubt please Dorna.
With KTM upset that Dorna has allowed Ducati to swell to eight bikes on the grid – a figure that will seem particularly large with one less manufacturer to balance it out – it could also encourage the Austrian manufacturer to consider introducing a partner effort. Chinese CFMoto down the line.
MV Agusta has indicated big plans to join MotoGP in the future and has already dipped his toes in GP waters with a modestly competitive Moto2 effort. The Italian manufacturer is set to expand its range following a major reorganization effort and new investment from new CEO Timur Sardarov.
Those plans eventually include a return to MotoGP to evoke the golden age of the 60s and 70s when he and Giacomo Agostini were all conquerors. However, that remains a few years away, and MV Agusta will probably not be able to commit to MotoGP as soon as 2024.
Two big sporting manufacturers who prefer to ply their trade in WorldSBK, neither BMW nor Kawasaki have any plans to make the move to MotoGP.
Indeed, Kawasaki controversially left MotoGP – which angered Dorna – in 2009 in favor of hoarding resources in WorldSBK, a strategy that transformed him from racers into multiple champions, he is therefore unlikely to rock the boat in the near future.
BMW, meanwhile, has been approached on numerous occasions and is even present in MotoGP as an official safety car supplier. However, with its WorldSBK factory team struggling for competitiveness and the added pressure of anticipated success from the start, BMW is likely to deviate from the premier class unless there is a major change in regulations.
Promotion moto2 or moto3 corsair
Although the original MotoGP contracts with Dorna stipulated that there would be no addition of an all-private team until 2026, Suzuki’s exit looks set to change position to give it the best chance of winning. fill both places.
Thus, a private Moto2 or Moto3 team could take the plunge as early as next year if it can secure a supply of motorcycles from one of the manufacturers. One of these could end up becoming Aprilia’s satellite team, although Ducati is unlikely to be allowed to expand to a fifth team and KTM will only enter a third team under its own brand.
Which leaves Honda and Yamaha, who both have the potential resources to provide a third team. Honda could see this as an opportunity to create a Honda Team Asia MotoGP effort to keep Takaaki Nakagami on the grid as the Japanese rider is set to be replaced by Ai Ogura for 2023.
Yamaha, meanwhile, has moved away significantly from the rebranded RNF Yamaha team and so may see this as an opportunity to bring in a more favorable partner. That said, it could motivate the Malaysian-flagged Yamaha RNF to leave the series altogether as a result.
As for privateer teams with the support and resources to move up to MotoGP, several Moto3 champions, Leopard Racing, have already expressed interest and opposed VR46 Racing to take on Avintia Racing’s effort.
Additionally, American Racing could provide a solution for Dorna to gain much-desired American representation on the grid.