24 April 2014
Brivio: Suzuki MotoGP not in talks with Pedrosa - yet
"Regarding Pedrosa we would have to find out if he is interested" - Davide Brivio, Suzuki MotoGP.
Suzuki test team manager Davide Brivio has played down speculation that the factory is in talks with Dani Pedrosa to lead its 2015 MotoGP return.
Like most factory riders, Pedrosa's current Honda contract expires at the end of this season, while Brivio has made clear that Suzuki will seek at least one established star.
“Our target is to get the best riders possible. The top three or four riders I imagine will stay where they are, but we will try," Brivio said recently.
A Repsol Honda rider since his 2006 MotoGP debut, Pedrosa's seat is perceived as being under threat should Jorge Lorenzo opt to leave Yamaha for Honda - in order to take on Pedrosa's current team-mate and reigning champion Marc Marquez on equal machinery.
The assumption in that scenario is that Marquez would not veto Lorenzo joining 'his' team.
Marquez is also out of contract at the end of this year and keeping the 21-year-old will be Honda's top priority. Marquez was able to negotiate a change of mechanics for 2014, illustrating his influence within Repsol Honda, while Lorenzo's critical comments about Marquez during his rookie year may not be quickly forgotten by the #93.
Either way, there is no doubt that Suzuki should have the financial firepower to tempt a top rider and Pedrosa is likely to be among the candidates.
“We still do not have any agreement with any rider and we don't yet have a clear idea on who our future riders will be,” Brivio told the official MotoGP website.
“Regarding Pedrosa we would have to find out if he is interested. We are currently not negotiating with anyone. Perhaps things will start to get moving in the coming weeks.”
The only rider Brivio was prepared to confirm as being on the Suzuki list is Randy de Puniet, who has stepped back from MotoGP competition to be a full time Suzuki test rider on the new XRH-1 inline four-cylinder.
“Randy de Puniet is one of the candidates. The fact that he will have been working with us for two years could be a plus. We have not guaranteed anything to Randy, but he is on our list of candidates.”
The 2015 MotoGP rider contracts will centre around the decisions of Marquez and Lorenzo, with the other top rides only likely to fall into place once they have signed.
The notable exception is Valentino Rossi, whose future is perhaps the least likely to be affected by the decisions of others. Rossi is all but guaranteed a new Yamaha contract should he decide to continue racing and, if Yamaha feels Lorenzo is dragging out negotiations, they could sign Rossi first.
Given Lorenzo's miserable start to the season, it is perhaps in his interests to delay negotiations for a while...
Suzuki, which withdrew from MotoGP at the end of 2011, will be considered a 'new' manufacturer next year and thus race under the same special Factory rules as Ducati, meaning they are to start the 2015 season with all of the Open class fuel/tyre/engine/testing concessions.
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