Suzuki to make 2017 MotoGP satellite team decision in next month

Suzuki expects to know before MotoGP's summer break whether it will expand its operation to supply a satellite outfit for 2017

Suzuki to make 2017 MotoGP satellite team decision in next month

The Japanese manufacturer has traditionally focused efforts on its factory bikes in grand prix motorcycle racing, but is open to adding to that next year.

Ducati currently supplies six bikes to three satellite teams, Honda three bikes to two teams and Yamaha two bikes to the Tech3 team.

Suzuki has primarily been linked to the LCR outfit, which currently runs Cal Crutchlow's Honda, with reigning Moto2 champion Johann Zarco the most-likely candidate for any expansion.

Zarco will test with Suzuki at Motegi next month, and it has an option on the French rider.

"Suzuki would really like to see more bikes on the grid," Suzuki's MotoGP team manager Davide Brivio told Autosport.

"We would really like to see satellite bikes, but I don't know if we are able to do it for 2017.

"Maybe it's difficult. We are working on that and it looks like it's not so easy, but we are working on this.

"Now it's difficult to say if we will be able to do it or not."

Brivio added that there was no hard cut-off on a decision, but the German Grand Prix in the middle of July before the summer break looms as a key checkpoint.

"There is not a deadline," he added.

"But there is a certain reasonable time that if we need to find a partner, we need to give an answer within a certain amount of time.

"I guess probably in the next month, maximum two, we have to take a decision."

DECISION ON SECOND RIDER 'NEXT'

Before Suzuki works out any satellite plans, it needs to settle on its second factory rider.

Andrea Iannone will arrive from Ducati to replace the Yamaha-bound Maverick Vinales, with incumbent Aleix Espargaro or Moto2 frontrunner Alex Rins considered the two leading contenders.

"It wasn't a long time since we knew that Maverick was leaving," Brivio admitted at Mugello.

"Then we had to move very quickly on Iannone because he was closing with the other company and then we had to confirm quickly if we wanted him.

"And now we can work on the other rider. We are talking to Aleix's management and we will see, we will decide I think probably... next."

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