In amongst all the shenanigans that has been going on in MotoGp in the last few months, the fate of the “other” two Japanese manufacturers seems to have barely been mentioned. Kawasaki seems to be more than happy with the reduced expenditure formula of WSBK, and seem to be doing quite well there, too, winning the Supersport title with Superglue and narrowly missing the Superbike one with the ever-improving Tom Sykes. Oh, and they also won the Endurance Championship as well. So I don’t expect to hear any rumours suggesting a return to MotoGp by Team Green any time soon. The closest we are likely to get is the continued supply of engines to a couple of the CRT teams.
Suzuki is another matter. Since leaving the scene at the end of 2011, Suzuki have been lumbering away in the background quietly developing a new bike (an I4, were told, drawing on their extensive experience with the design in street bikes and WSBK) with a view to re-entering the series once the worst effects of the GFC have moderated.We have even seen pictures of the prototype being tested on Suzuki’s test track in Japan.
The plan was to enter the bike in SOME events in 2013 as a “wildcard” with a view to a limited return (one year only) in 2014 to assess the benefit that could be gained from doing so. However, Caramello Koala has stomped on that idea, dismissing the possibility of any wildcard entries AND insisting that, if Suzuki were to return, they would have to commit to at least 3 years, ie: to the end of 2016. Plainly they would not be prepared to do so in the present climate of uncertainty, especially since nobody really seems sure where the MotoGp technical regulations are going to take the sport anyway.
So, are we going to see Suzuki back in MotoGp any time soon? My guess is no, certainly not soon and probably not at all. All the prototype development work may benefit the street bike fraternity down the track, though.All of this seems more than just a little perplexing, though, when it was accidentally revealed that MotoGp CRT rider, Randy de Puniet (fiance of the gorgeous Lauren Vickers) looks like heading to Suzuki next year as their development rider. Weird.
Got a spare one hundred thousand Euros stashed away that you’re not doing anything with? Well, save it for a bit because it might just buy you one of Honda’s new V4 superbikes…
Slightly cheaper and possibly with even more cred, the late Steve McQueen’s Husqvarna dirt bike is coming up for auction at Bonhams auction in the near future.
Actually, having said that, it may not be that much cheaper than the V4 Honda once the hammer drops.