Suzuki’s MotoGP team manager hunt “taking longer than imagined”

Suzuki project leader Shinichi Sahara says the Japanese marque is still looking for a new MotoGP team manager, but it’s “taking longer than I imagined”.

Suzuki’s MotoGP team manager hunt “taking longer than imagined”

The 2020 teams’ and riders’ champions have been without a team manager since Davide Brivio left ahead of the 2021 season to become Alpine’s racing director in Formula 1.

Suzuki employed a management committee consisting of seven high-profile names within the team, helmed by Sahara.

However, Sahara admitted at the end of last year that his role proved too much for him and a proper replacement for Brivio is being sought.

Updating Autosport’s Spanish language sister website Motorsport.es, Sahara said: “I haven't changed my mind.

“It's just taking longer than I imagined or would have liked.

“We are still negotiating with several candidates, but we haven't closed the deal yet.

“And I can't say much more so as not to compromise those involved. But yes, the idea is still to bring in a team manager.”

Alex Rins, Team Suzuki MotoGP

Alex Rins, Team Suzuki MotoGP

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Rumours have been around for some time that Brivio could make a return to Suzuki in 2022 as his role at Alpine coming into the new F1 season is uncertain.

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Sahara has previously ruled out Brivio returning to the squad, however, and said when asked about the Italian again that “I have heard something about changes at Alpine, but I don’t know the details.

“I won’t say anything about possible names. In fact, anyone could be our new team manager!”

Both of Suzuki’s riders Joan Mir and Alex Rins are out of contract at the end of 2022, but Sahara says the priority to retain both into 2023.

“Suzuki wants to keep both Joan and Alex, and we have told both of them that,” Sahara added.

“But, at this point of the year, the most important thing for us is to give them the most competitive bike possible.

“With it we hope to be able to be title contenders again.

“At the moment, my focus is not on the negotiations with them, but on the performance of the bike.”

Suzuki made a decent start to pre-season testing in Malaysia last weekend, with Rins fourth overall and Mir 12th having not completed a time attack on the second day.

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