Suzuki Set For MotoGP Comeback

Spaniards get nod for 2015 premier-class return.

Suzuki GSX-RR studio rear view

Suzuki confirmed this week at INTERMOT that it will return to MotoGP next season. Test rider Randy de Puniet is expected to race the aluminum-framed GSX-RR at the year-end finale in Valencia, Spain, after which current Forward Racing rider Aleix Espargaro and 2013 Moto3 World Champion Maverick Vinales, third in Moto2 points, will take over full-time on-bike duties.

Suzuki pulled out of MotoGP following the 2011 season, having failed to crack the top 12 in overall points two years in a row. Cycle World has documented the progress of the new machine, code-named XRH-1. As previously reported, the engine is a GSX-R-like inline-four, not a derivative of the previous V-four last raced by Alvaro Bautista.

"One of the aims of participation in MotoGP is to develop technology to transfer to production bikes," Team Manager Davide Brivio told the media in Cologne, Germany. "Using the same engine layout means stronger links to production. That's the target."

As recently as June of last year, Suzuki was expected to be racing this season. "Electronics are very sophisticated in MotoGP," Brivio said, "and we have been out for a few years, so we need to recover. And also we are working on engine performance, not so much top speed but more drivability."

Kevin Schwantz achieved the greatest success in the modern era on Suzuki Grand Prix machinery, winning 25 races and the 1993 500cc world title. Fellow American Kenny Roberts Jr. was Suzuki’s last premier-class championship winner, in 2000.

Suzuki GSX-RR studio rear 3/4 left-side view.

Suzuki GSX-RR studio overhead 3/4 right-side view.

Suzuki GSX-RR logo.

MotoGP Team Manager Davide Brivio (left) and Suzuki Motor Corp.