Suzuki has always been the smallest and most conservative of the four Japanese MotoGP teams. They have never had the resources to run multiple MotoGP teams nor could they do so in the old 500cc era when the Suzuki factory team were the only Suzukis on the grid, much like today. They were, barely, able to run a 250 team one year along side the factory 500 team but that effort disappeared quickly as Suzuki suggested that they were unable to afford it.
Suzuki will announce this week that they have decided to pull out of MotoGP at the end of the 2022 season. Why? Because they can’t afford to go racing. In the last half-decade Suzuki has pulled their factory effort from numerous series–from Yoshimura Suzuki here in the USA to WSBK to numerous others.
Up until 2008 Suzuki sold nearly every GSX-R they made, most of them in the USA. The revenue from those sales bolstered the racing budget, with a good chunk of that revenue paying MotoGP salaries and for $10,000 fuel tanks and the like for MotoGP. Since the global recession hit, and sales went in the tank, Suzuki has struggled to pay for anything which does not result in motorcycle sales. Suzuki’s precarious financial situation has hit every single department at the manufacturer over the last five years. So much so that a former Suzuki rider and “brand ambassador” was asked to attend a PR function in Japan last year on behalf of the manufacturer.
He told them that he was more than willing to do the event but wanted to mention that he had not been reimbursed for his expenses from the last two trips he made on behalf of the manufacturer to Japan. He added that he wasn’t crazy about sponsoring another trip to Japan if reimbursement was going to be ruled by a sun dial. Suzuki said they would figure it out and would call him back. The last time I spoke with him they had not called him back nor reimbursed him.
Suzuki is not a bad company, and the people who work for Suzuki are good people. The reality is they simply don’t have the money to go MotoGP racing.