Team Suzuki Ecstar boss Davide Brivio says the manufacturer is closing on a decision to expand its efforts in MotoGP to include a satellite team in 2022, even if the current crisis brought on by the coronavirus could interfere with those plans.

Suzuki is just one of two manufacturers on the current MotoGP grid – the other being Aprilia – not to have support from an additional satellite team. It’s a policy the team has maintained for some time, even during the 2000s prior to its hiatus from the sport.

However, team boss Brivio has spoken of his desire to expand Suzuki’s interests on the MotoGP grid to include a satellite entry and run four GSX-RRs to speed up bike development and provide an entry point for burgeoning riders.

For now plans are moving ahead, with Brivio suggesting a satellite team could debut as early as 2022, though he warns a change in priorities as a result of the coronavirus means this could yet change.

"We had an idea to do this for 2022 and this is still on the table," he said. "For the moment, we’ve been concentrating on discussing the riders agreements but now I think we’ll let the top management focus on more important company issues and then in a few weeks or a few months maybe we’ll try to have this discussion again and see what the situation is and what their intentions are.

“For us, it’s still open and a project we’re still working on. It’s something our racing department still wants to do but, of course, we have to go through the approval of top management. It’s difficult to say now, we have to wait and see. We’ll continue working on it though."

As well as Suzuki, Aprilia is also expected to expand to four bikes from 2022 by delegating its satellite responsibility to the Gresini Racing team that currently runs its MotoGP effort. Aprilia will then take its factory team fully in-house running out of its base in Noale.

The role of a satellite team has grown in recent years, with Ducati, Yamaha and KTM each now supplying two 2020-spec machines to the Pramac, Petronas SRT and Tech 3 teams for 2020. It means, there will be just three non-current spec models on the grid now for Johann Zarco and Tito Rabat at Avintia Ducati and for Takaaki Nakagami at LCR Honda.

 

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