Suzuki MotoGP project leader Shinichi Sahara says the factory "won’t look for an external manager right now" to replace Davide Brivio and instead "we will try to manage by ourselves".

Brivio shocked Suzuki by leaving for a new role in F1, just two months after helping achieve the factory's first MotoGP title victory since 2000, with Joan Mir.

The Italian's replacement remains unknown, but Sahara made it clear they have decided to try and, "manage the situation with the people inside Suzuki, and it is the best way for us. We know who we are, how we work, how we interact, and what we need.

"We won’t look for an external manager right now, we will try to manage by ourselves.”

Suzuki's external options would be to try and poach a rival MotoGP team manager, sign a proven title-winning team boss now outside the paddock like Livio Suppo, or recruit from other championships such as Moto2 or WorldSBK.

Brivio, who also won four MotoGP titles as a Yamaha team manager for Valentino Rossi, had been one of the key management figures at Suzuki alongside Sahara and technical boss Ken Kawachi.

"I really appreciate what Davide has done since he joined Suzuki; coming in at the start with the newly-created project and growing it to become a top team," Sahara said.

"For sure we are affected by [his departure], but I don’t think we are going to lose the way without him, because we always looked at things in the same way and agreed on the direction to take. We also have expert staff to help us manage.

"I fully trust the team structure we have and the rest of the people who helped build it up… We will be more united than ever because we all love this brand, this team, and we will give 150% to carry on with the new challenges in the best way.”

Brivio was especially significant in terms of rider signings, picking out future Suzuki MotoGP race winners Alex Rins and Maverick Vinales from Moto2, then persuading another rookie, Mir, to join the factory in the face of opposition from Honda and Ducati.

Nonetheless, Sahara is adamant that Brivio's departure "should not affect anything from now on.

"We will be working as we know how, and even more than before now that we’ve won the championship. Our attitude has never changed: we will aim to fight for the title again with our two strong riders, Mir and Rins."

“It will not affect our riders' ability to fight for the championship," he added. "We are already champions and we have two young, talented, and great riders. They know how to deal with troubles or difficult situations and manage the pressure all the time. I’m not worried at all from this point of view.

"They are both super professional and ready for the 2021 Championship.”

 

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