MotoGP Mid-Season Report: ‘Shock News’ Impacts Suzuki Season
Christina Bulpett |
Image: GeeBee Pictures
2022 has not been the season Suzuki Ecstar expected when it signed Livio Suppo to take over as Team Manager in February.
Despite leading the team and rider standings – with Alex Rins level on points with Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo and Joan Mir in fourth place – as the paddock returned to Europe after the first four flyaways, the season has practically imploded for the Hamamatsu team.
A shock announcement from Japan that the factory was withdrawing from MotoGP at the end of the year stalled the progress of teams and riders, with four DNFs apiece and an additional pointless score for Rins from Portimao – the latter having suffered a broken wrist to Barcelona after the first corner incident involving Takaaki Nakagami.
“I was super happy, very happy to be back in the paddock after four years, and the team welcomed me very well,” said Suppo on his first return to MotoGP. “It’s a fantastic group of people who are very professional, very friendly.
“Basically, in Portimao, we were leading the team championship and Alex was on the same points as Fabio, and that’s when I knew we should have given up”, laughs. -he.
“It was a very good start, Alex showed that he was in good shape, a different driver from last year. Joan had a little more difficulty but it is also true that he has a certain way of approach the championship. He wants to start calm and be stronger when he arrives in Europe. Then what happened probably had some influence.
“First of all I really have to thank all the guys on the team because despite the news they didn’t give up, they kept the good spirits up,” he said of the bombshell drop. during the Jerez test without apparently any history. Attention. “If you stay in the paddock, you see in the evening that the atmosphere in our reception remains very friendly and joyful. Of course, I try to help them find a solution for next year. But, the important thing is that apart from the impact and the shock of the first hours, they had a very strong reaction.
“Suzuki has officially confirmed that they won’t be racing next year. Then what happens is the negotiation with Dorna, it’s something that is outside of my job, so I can’t say anything Nothing has changed for sure. There is no chance of having Suzuki here next year.
“For runners, it’s very hard to say,” he continued of the overall effect of the news. “For Alex, he has no points in the last two races, but basically not his fault, because of Barcelona’s crash. He was fast anyway, so I think it’s hard to say if the news had an influence on their performance, but I also think that Joan, after the Barcelona test in particular, found something better in the configuration of the new machine, and I’m really confident that we can try to finish this season with good results, because of course that will help us to be happier.