Marc VDS Racing team manager Marc Bartholemy has played down the ties between Suter and BMW, insisting the German manufacturer has no official involvement.

Suter is set to join the MotoGP ranks in 2012 with its own chassis, plus an engine developed from BMW's 1000cc Superbike unit, raising speculation that the manufacturer could have a hand in backing the Swiss-based operation.

The first prototype of the Suter-BMW made its track debut during the off-season, with Damian Cudlin and Carmelo Morales lapping Jerez around four seconds off the ultimate pace.

The bike is now expected to return to the track after the upcoming Estoril round of the MotoGP World Champiopnship, sparking rumours that BMW's World Superbike rider Leon Haslam is scheduled to ride.

However, Bartholemy, whose Marc VDS team is expected to spearhead Suter's MotoGP entry, denies Haslam has been contacted, adding that BMW is also not involved in any factory capacity.

"The Suter project is completely independent of BMW, and there has been no contact with Leon Haslam," he told

Scott Redding and Mika Kallio currently ride for Marc VDS in Moto2.



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