Multiple reports suggest Suzuki team members were informed of the shock news during Monday’s post-race test in Jerez, despite Suzuki previously signing to remain in MotoGP until at least 2026.

Suzuki is remaining silent, something that would not happen if such reports were untrue.

Suzuki’s second withdraw from MotoGP (having 'suspended' its involvement from 2012-2014 due to the financial crisis) would also leave Joan Mir and fellow race winner Alex Rins in need of a new team for 2023.

Both have been Suzuki riders ever since joining the premier-class, Rins in 2017 and Mir in 2019.

Although winless last season, Suzuki and Mir still finished third in the world championship, behind only Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha) and Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati).

Rins, who suffered a nightmare run of race mistakes last year, has taken the GSX-RR’s only podiums so far this season to hold fourth in the early standings, two places clear of Mir.

Suzuki, which hired Livio Suppo as its new team manager just a few months ago, would be the first manufacturer to withdraw from MotoGP since its previous 2011 hiatus.

The factory’s exit -  expected to be officially confirmed by the end of Tuesday and presumably due to financial reasons - is also set to reduce the sport to five manufacturers: Ducati, Honda, Yamaha, KTM and Aprilia.

However, when Kawasaki sought to leave MotoGP before the end of its contract with Dorna, in 2008, the factory was forced to run an unbranded 'Hayate' bike for Marco Melandri the following season as a compromise.

Kawasaki has not returned to MotoGP since and if Suzuki does walk away mid-contract the factory might well receive a cool reception if it ever wanted to come back in future.

What now for Joan Mir and Alex Rins?

Fortunately for Mir and Rins, most seats on the 2023 grid are yet to be decided, with only Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda), Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati), Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM) and Franco Morbidelli (Monster Yamaha) officially confirmed.

Although Yamaha is now confident of keeping Quartararo for another two years that still means one Honda, one Ducati, one KTM and two Aprilia factory team seats are available.

With Aprilia and Suzuki the only manufacturers currently without a satellite team, the obvious answer to retain grid numbers in 2023 would be the formation of a second Aprilia-backed team.

How Suzuki announced its MotoGP exit in 2011

After months of rumour, Suzuki confirmed its previous MotoGP exit with a brief and carefully worded press release in late 2011 that spoke of a decision to 'suspend temporarily its participation'.

The split was made easier due to the next five-year contract between the manufacturers and Dorna starting in 2012. Crucially, and in contrast to Kawasaki, Suzuki also included a planned return date. Might Suzuki adopt a similar stance this time around?

'Suzuki Motor Corporation has decided to suspend temporarily its participation in FIM Road Racing Grand Prix MotoGP from 2012.

'This suspension is to cope with tough circumstances mainly caused by the prolonged recession in developed countries, an historical appreciation of Japanese Yen and repeated natural disasters.

'Having an eye to returning to MotoGP in 2014, Suzuki will now focus on developing a competitive new racing machine for that class.

'Suzuki will continue motocross racing activity and support of road racing activities using mass-produced motorcycles, by obtaining FIM homologation and co-operation with the supplier of its development racing kit parts.'

After a wild-card with Randy de Puniet at the end of 2014, Suzuki's full-time MotoGP return - with the GSX-RR replacing the previous GSV-R and a new race team assembled by Davide Brivio - was ultimately pushed back a year until 2015.

Suzuki’s 500cc/MotoGP world champions

1976, 1977 – Barry Sheene

1981 – Marco Lucchinelli

1982 – Franco Uncini

1993 – Kevin Schwantz

2000 – Kenny Roberts Jnr

2020 – Joan Mir