Suzuki legend Kevin Schwantz says Davide Brivio's departure as MotoGP team manager leaves a 'big void to fill.'

Brivio played a key role in planning Suzuki's premier-class return for 2015, then oversaw race victories for Maverick Vinales, Alex Rins and finally Joan Mir, who won the factory's first 500cc/MotoGP title victory since 2000 last season.

But just two months after Suzuki returned to the top of the world, Brivio confirmed his departure from both the team and MotoGP, with the Italian now set to take up a senior role at the Alpine F1 team.

"Suzuki MotoGP world champions in 2020 and Davide Brivio is leaving to go Formula One racing, so I understand," said 1993 world champion Schwantz, during a video posted to his Instagram channel.

"That's a big void to fill. I think Davide and Bobby [team co-ordinator], both Brivio brothers did a great job of bringing Suzuki back to world championship-winning level. They performed that during a very strange 2020 season, but it's going to be tough shoes to fill.

"I think they did a lot - first of all they picked two great riders, probably with some Japanese help as well. But it's not going to be an easy position to fill.

"I'm sure there are some teams out there that would love to run Suzukis next year that have the shops and trucks and staff in place. [But] I'm sure Suzuki would like to keep as much of the non-Japanese staff as they can.

"That's a pretty big shock, I think I read Sahara-san [Suzuki MotoGP project leader] say he doesn't know what to do. He and Davide used to consult quite a bit on what to do, how to make the team better, the bike better, help the riders get better. And Sahara-san said he and Davide agreed on a lot of stuff."

Brivio's successor is currently unclear and, with just one month to go until pre-season testing is scheduled to begin, preparations for Suzuki's 2021 title defence are likely to begin without a team manager in place.

"Sahara-san doing it on his own, it's going to be a big job. But if anyone can do it, Sahara can," Schwantz said.

The Texan, 56, has himself been linked with a Suzuki team management role in the past but gave no indication that he is interested in the newly available MotoGP position.

"Best of luck, I sure hope Suzuki find someone to run that team for them," he said.

Former Ducati and Honda MotoGP team manager Livio Suppo, who like Brivio has won titles with two different manufacturers, told Crash.net he would listen to Suzuki if they were to call.

 

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