The reasons for Suzuki’s shock decision, after winning the world championship as recently as 2020 and having signed (last year) to remain in MotoGP until 2026, are assumed to be financial.

For now, all that is understood is that the controversial call was made by Suzuki’s Hamamatsu headquarters and then relayed to the stunned race team during Monday’s Jerez test.

But what happens next? Here are some of the possible scenarios...

Suzuki takes a complete break from MotoGP

Sadly, this currently appears most likely and would see the 2020 world champions close down the GSX-RR project, disband the race team and surrender its grid slots at the end of the season.

Under such circumstances, the best-case scenario would see the existing Suzuki race team 'reborn' and continue in revised form, using machinery from another manufacturer.

But is creating such a 'new' team even possible under existing Dorna-IRTA-MSMA contracts?

Dorna seems to think so: "Dorna will decide on the ideal number of riders and teams racing in the MotoGP class from 2023," said the commercial rights holder, in response to the Suzuki rumours.

Aprilia, which would otherwise become the only factory without a satellite project for 2023, is already tipped as a likely supplier for any replacement Independent team.

However, Dorna also suggested new 'official factories' could be interested in stepping in:

"Dorna continues to receive high levels of interest from a number of both official factories and Independent Teams looking to join the MotoGP grid... Interest from these parties has been re-confirmed in the past 24 hours."

As ever, funding would be the key issue.

While a new manufacturer would need to cover all their own racing costs, Dorna provides around 5 million euros to each Independent team to cover bike leasing costs. However, as RNF founder Razlan Razali told Crash.net earlier this year, a satellite budget in the region of 11-13 million euros is needed per season.

Aside from a dream, big-money sponsor or new factory arriving to take over the current Suzuki team, a partnership with an existing, well-funded Moto2 or Moto3 squad would also help fill the financial void and keep the team going.

Could Livio Suppo do a Ross Brawn?

Dorna has warned Suzuki 'the conditions of their contract to race in MotoGP do not allow for them to take this decision unilaterally’, but also admit Suzuki could depart 'following an agreement between both parties’.

Given the prospect of early contract termination and the resulting need to reach an agreement, might Suzuki be ‘persuaded’ to continue funding its race team for at least 2023, even if the team uses another brand of bike?

Such a scenario is not unheard of.

When Honda closed its factory F1 team due to financial reasons in 2008, a management buyout for a reported £1 was led by Ross Brawn, resulting in the creation of 'Brawn GP'.

Despite switching to Mercedes engines, Honda agreed to provide a rumoured 100 million budget to keep its former team going for the following season (rather than see it collapse) and Brawn sensationally won that year's world championship with Jenson Button.

Suzuki announces a ‘temporary MotoGP suspension’ (again)

The last time Suzuki withdrew from MotoGP, at the end of 2011, it was framed as deciding to ‘suspend temporarily its participation’ due to ‘tough circumstances’ in the aftermath of the financial crisis.

But on that occasion, and unlike Kawasaki a few years earlier, Suzuki was stepping aside just before the start of the next five-year contract cycle between the manufacturers and Dorna (2012-2016).

Suzuki also gave a timeline for a planned comeback, having ‘an eye to returning to MotoGP in 2014’ and insisted it would spend the time away ‘developing a competitive new racing machine.’

Such assurances helped soothe relations with Dorna, which duly granted Suzuki grid slots for its return (a year later than originally planned) in 2015.

While the need to extract itself from the current Dorna contract greatly complicates a 2022 split, might Suzuki again be planning a 'temporary suspension’ and name a return date?

If so, the obvious dates in the foreseeable future would coincide with MotoGP's introduction of ‘non-fossil’ origin fuel: 40% from 2024 and 100% from 2027.

The GSX-RR continues as a satellite project

In order to save some money but still keep a finger on MotoGP technology and arguably honour its remaining contract term, Suzuki could close its factory race team, but keep the GSX-RR project alive by supplying machines and technical support to an Independent team.

In other words, a similar type of situation to the Aprilia and Gresini partnership from 2015-2021.

Since all of the present satellite teams have contracts with manufacturers for 2023, it would require a new race team to be formed.

Regardless of how strong the Suzuki support might or might not be for such a satellite project, as long as the grid places were owned by a private team, it would be eligible for the (5 million) Independent Dorna funding.

A Kawasaki-style ‘Hayate’ entry

This is the most extreme extension of the satellite concept but cannot be entirely excluded given the potential similarities between Kawasaki’s earlier MotoGP exit and Suzuki’s to-be-confirmed 2022 departure.

Kawasaki also left before the end of the five-year Dorna contract cycle, announcing it would ‘suspend’ participation in MotoGP from 2009 ‘due to the influence of the global economic crises’. However, it was ultimately persuaded to keep a scaled-down, unofficial version of its former Kawasaki Racing Team alive for one more season.

Competing under the ‘Hayate’ banner, lone rider Marco Melandri took the anonymous, all-black ZX-RR, devoid of any Kawasaki logos or branding, to a podium finish and tenth in the world championship.

While highly unlikely, given Dorna has made clear a contract settlement would need to be reached, and the outcome last time around involved the unofficial ‘Hayate’ project, it's not beyond the realms of possibility that unbranded Suzuki(s) could be on the grid in 2023. 

Given Dorna's comments about ongoing interest from other factories, might Suzuki even be encouraged to reach an agreement with a new manufacturer to take over/rebrand the already competitive GSX-RRs instead of trying to start a MotoGP project from scratch?

Much will come down to the nature of any 'agreement' between Suzuki and Dorna, while as things stand the remaining Japanese factories (Honda and Yamaha) are set to be outnumbered by the European constructors (Ducati, KTM, Aprilia).

Whichever path is taken by the Suzuki project, former title winner Joan Mir is now likely to be quickly snapped up by a rival factory for 2023, with team-mate Alex Rins (currently fourth and top Suzuki, with two podiums) also sure to have alternative options if he can remain at the sharp end of this year's championship standings.