This week, Suzuki opened up on their plans for next year’s return to MotoGP, naming their riders, announcing an early wild card race and talking about their development so far.
First off, Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales will be the factory team riders next year, with current test team manager Davide Brivio heading the squad. Currently, Espargaro races for NGM Forward Racing in MotoGP, and Vinales rides for Moto2’s Paginas Amarillas HP 40 team.
Suzuki is actually planning a wild card entry at the final race this year, at the Valencia circuit. It’s unclear yet as to who will be riding the bike.
The team’s engineers said the bike is a total re-design from Suzuki’s last GP bike, the GSV-R. The new machine went to a four-cylinder motor to enable designers to develop technology that can more easily trickle down to production bikes; the motor and electronics have been the biggest problems to sort out in development.
“We are working a lot on the electronics, because the electronics are very sophisticated in MotoGP and we have been out for a few years, so we need to recover,” said team manager Brivio. “And also we are working on engine performance – not so much the top speed of the engine – but more the drivability of the engine and the power.”
He added that the team would have to enter competition to truly see how much catch-up work was needed.
Their goal for 2015, he said, was to “get close with Ducati, even though they have been struggling for many years. Then we can see the way to the top.”