by Matt Shine |
Suzuki have confirmed that they will not compete in 2012 MotoGP championship for financial reasons.
The Japanese factory with just one rider during 2011, Alvaro Bautista finish 13th this season but have now ended their 37-year association with the sport..
A company statement read: "Suzuki Motor Corporation has decided to suspend temporarily its participation in MotoGP from the 2012 season.
Having an eye to returning to MotoGP in 2014, Suzuki will now focus on developing a competitive new racing machine for that class
"Having an eye to returning to MotoGP in 2014, Suzuki will now focus on developing a competitive new racing machine for that class."
"This suspension is to cope with tough circumstances mainly caused by the prolonged recession in developed countries, a historical appreciation of Japanese Yen and repeated natural disasters," added Suzuki.
The announcement comes as no real surprise as it was Suzuki Corporation that funded the team and it was widely predicted that they would not continue to do so.
The withdrawal of Suzuki leaves only three manufacturers with full factory sponsored teams, Honda, Yamaha and Ducati on the grid for 2012.
The teams 2011 rider Alvaro Bautista has already left the team signing for Gresini Honda next season as a replacement for the late Marco Simoncelli, although Randy DePuniet had hoped to secure a seat with Rizla Suzuki after carrying out some positive testing at Valencia earlier this month.
Suzuki first competed in the top class of grand prix racing in 1974, with British legend Barry Sheene winning two world championships during the 1970s. Kenny Roberts Jr was the last Suzuki world champion, taking the 500cc title in 2000.
Suzuki will remain in the World Superbike series as well as continuing in motocross racing. They also will continue to support road racing activities using mass-produced motorcycles, by obtaining FIM homologation and co-operation with the supplier of its development racing kit parts.
Hopefully their goal of returning to the grid in 2014 is a realistic one and their return to the grid will ensure all the major motorcycle factories in MotoGP have a presence.