Suzuki MotoGP team manager Davide Brivio has played down reports that a 2017 race deal has already been agreed with Moto2 champion Johann Zarco.
Brivio confirmed that they are talking with the Frenchman, but said at this stage it is about testing the GSX-RR.
“We are thinking maybe to give him the opportunity to test our MotoGP and then see what happens,” Brivio said. “His job is to race Moto2 and try to win the championship [so] it would probably be in the summer break.”
Suzuki, which returned to MotoGP last season, currently runs a two-rider factory team for Maverick Vinales and Aleix Espargaro.
However under the terms of the 2017 commercial agreement each manufacturer is also 'obliged' to supply two satellite machines if requested.
“Dorna is requesting that each factory has two satellite bikes and if somebody asks you have to deal with the request," Brivio confirmed. "So it's on the table, but for us it is not easy because Suzuki does not have a history of satellite bikes. I mean ok, in the '70s - but then we were selling bikes as far as I know!
“But we never had a satellite team. So our concern now is how to get organised, how many human resources to allocate, the costs. It's not easy, but it's in our mind and it's a target. One day we wish to have more bikes on the grid. At this moment it's too early to say if it will happen or not [next year].”
Vinales and Espargaro were fifth and 16th quickest during opening practice in Qatar. Zarco, who has also been linked with KTM's MotoGP project, finished the evening fourth in the Moto2 class.