Motorsport

MotoGP champions Suzuki unwrap 2021 bike

For the first time since 2001, Suzuki enters a new MotoGP season with a championship to defend after Joan Mir took the crown last year – while his efforts alongside team-mate Alex Rins also netted Suzuki the teams’ title.

Suzuki is the only team on the 2021 grid with an unchanged line-up, with both Mir and Rins locked down at the Japanese marque until the end of 2022.

Suzuki became the last team to pull the covers off its revised 2021 livery on Saturday afternoon in Qatar, revealing a largely similar look to last year’s GSX-RR with the notable inclusion of more branding from new partner Monster Energy.

Suzuki starts the new season without long-time team manager Davide Brivio, who has made a shock switch to Alpine in Formula 1 as the rebranded Renault outfit’s racing director.

In light of this, Suzuki has elected not to hire a direct replacement for Brivio – who served as team manager from 2013 and spearheaded its 2015 return – and will instead be operated by a management committee of seven high-profile figures from throughout the race team.

Suzuki GSX-RR, Team Suzuki MotoGP

Photo by: Suzuki

“2020 was a fantastic season for us, and we’d like to keep that momentum in 2021,” team director Shinichi Sahara said.

“After former team manager Davide Brivio left the team, I thought it was a big loss for the team.

“But actually, we have the super professional staff in the team and their skills and abilities are more than enough to compensate for such loss.

“Also with our two super strong riders Joan and Alex, they are real title contenders again this year.

“Also the big the support from factory engineers in Japan and also from the test team and test riders, Sylvain [Guintoli] and [Takuya] Tsuda-san, we are 100% ready for the new season.”

Suzuki GSX-RR, Team Suzuki MotoGP

Suzuki GSX-RR, Team Suzuki MotoGP

Photo by: Suzuki

Reigning champion Mir – who has been nominated for a Laureus Award – announced last month that he will not race with the number one plate.

Sticking with the 36 he has raced throughout his grand prix career, Mir makes 2021 the ninth-successive year the number one plate won’t be seen.

Testing begins at 2pm local time at the Losail International Circuit.

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