Suzuki eyes satellite MotoGP programme for 2018

Supplying a satellite team for the first time in the modern era of MotoGP in 2018 is still on Suzuki’s radar.

Only factory-run Suzukis have raced in the premier class this millennium, and the Japanese manufacturer also spent three seasons on the sidelines after 2011 before starting its new programme in ’15.

It explored supplying a satellite team in 2017, with Moto2 champion Johann Zarco and LCR considered the most-likely option, but that was ultimately shelved, with Lucio Cecchinello’s outfit staying with Honda.

The championship has a stated aim of each of its six manufacturers being represented with two factory and two independently-run bikes, and Suzuki could follow Honda, Yamaha and Ducati in branching out.

“This is one of our targets,” team boss Davide Brivio said of supplying a satellite team.

“We would like to have more bikes on the grid but it’s not easy for Suzuki because we never had experience on satellite teams.

“Our resources are now fully dedicated to the MotoGP factory team, it’s very difficult to organise, to have more bikes on the grid.

“We need more people, more staff, we have to get organised.

“We hope to be able to work during 2017 and have something in 2018, if possible.

“It’s one of the targets but I can’t say now when we’ll be able to achieve this target.”

Suzuki has already been linked with Pramac for 2018, the Italian squad currently one of the three extra teams Ducati supplies.

Honda has LCR, which is looking to expand back to two bikes in 2018, and Marc VDS, while Yamaha has the Tech3 outfit.

Aprilia, which returned to MotoGP as a manufacturer in 2015, and the incoming KTM would be the only manufacturers without a satellite presence, if Suzuki finds an independent partner.


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