Suzuki's newly announced deal with Andrea Iannone seems to have caught both Aleix Espargaro and departing team-mate Maverick Vinales by surprise.
Vinales to Yamaha was finally confirmed earlier today, but with Iannone (dropped by Ducati a few days earlier) named as taking over the Spaniard's GSX-RR soon afterwards.
That leaves Espargaro battling with the likes of Moto2 stars Alex Rins and Johann Zarco for the remaining factory Suzuki seat.
“I was thinking for sure after I decide to move that they [Suzuki] would sign quite fast with Aleix. But finally was not like this, they signed with Iannone,” Vinales said.
“I think Aleix has always been working really hard for the factory and was getting good results, in Jerez he was in front of me. For sure if they keep Aleix it will be a really strong team, but they need to look to the future also and Rins is a very strong rider for the future.
“If I was in their position, really I don't know. They need to think a lot about what they need; experience or a new talent.”
Suzuki has now joined Honda, Ducati and Yamaha on the 2016 MotoGP podium courtesy of Vinales' third place last time at Le Mans, after which he finally made his decision to leave.
“For sure after my first podium here in MotoGP I was really excited. Suzuki has been a really long time without a podium. Anyway finally I decide to move, to go to Yamaha,” he said. “I think it will be really important for my career. And I think I will grow up a lot. So finally I mean, I'm really grateful to Suzuki because they trust me a lot. They tried to give me the best bike they can and I think they did a really good job.
“It's been difficult to decide because I was thinking a lot about the positives and negatives. But finally wins the positive and I could decide quite fast after the Le Mans race. The objective of the season already we did in Le Mans. Now we can be calm and take out our 100 percent out of me and the bike.”