On Monday morning, just as the new Suzuki was making its public debut at the Catalunya test, the factory confirmed that it will return to MotoGP competition - but in 2015 rather than 2014.
A few hours into the test, Crash.net
spoke with Suzuki's new Test Team manager Davide Brivio at Catalunya, to find out more about Suzuki's MotoGP project - including the reasons behind the delay...
When was your first contact with Suzuki?
I was contacted a few months ago and they asked me to run the testing activities for 2013. Of course I was excited because I did this job for many, many years as a team manager [at Yamaha] and I missed the excitement and adrenaline.
When they offered, we talked - it was very difficult for me to say no! Because it is such a great opportunity. So thanks to Suzuki that they thought of me. I am very pleased about that.
Who else is involved with the team?
This is a testing team. So we have involved some Suzuki guys from before, like Tom O'Kane who is of course a great crew chief. Then we have Ramon who is an experienced mechanic and Russell Jordan for the parts. Let's say there are three important sectors where we tried to get some continuity with the past. People who know the Suzuki system. Good people. This was the base.
Then they asked me and there is also Roberto Brivio, my brother, who worked for many years as co-ordinator for me. So we both have some experience that we will try to use as best we can with this project.
In addition to these five western people, we are mixed with Japanese staff. Two Japanese mechanics, the electronics guys are Japanese etc... So with this mix we created the testing team.
Obviously the big news this morning was Suzuki's return, but in 2015. What is the main reason behind 2015 instead of 2014?
The main reason is that we want to enter MotoGP in the best possible shape and we think we need more time to be prepared. There are a few very important regulation changes for 2014, starting with the control ECU, which we don't know.
We are using a Mitsubishi [ECU] here. We only just got the Magneti-Marelli [control ECU] in house and we are getting to know it and trying to make a first experience. So we have some material from Magneti-Marelli in the factory and our electronic people are starting to understand and work on it.