Suzuki hires ex-Honda boss Suppo as MotoGP team manager

Suzuki has announced it has signed ex-Honda MotoGP boss Livio Suppo as its new team manager for the 2022 season.

Suzuki hires ex-Honda boss Suppo as MotoGP team manager
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The 2020 title-winning outfit has been on the hunt for a team manager since Davide Brivio – who helmed the Japanese marque from 2013 – departed to join Alpine as its racing director in Formula 1.

With Brivio’s exit coming on the eve of the 2021 season, Suzuki elected to form a management committee of seven high-profile members of the team helmed by project leader Shinichi Sahara.

But discontent grew within Suzuki without anyone filling the void left by Brivio, with Sahara admitting at the end of last year that his new role proved too much for him.

Suzuki was dealt a blow last week when Alpine announced a new role for Brivio, ending hopes of a return to Suzuki for the Italian – with the marque admitting earlier this month that searching for a new team manager was taking longer than expected.

Suppo was team boss at Ducati when Casey Stoner won the title in 2007, before moving to Honda in 2010 – first as marketing and communications director – where he became team principal in 2013.

He left that role at the end of 2017, with Alberto Puig taking over at the helm of Honda.

Suppo’s name has been linked to the vacant team boss role at Suzuki for some time, with the marque confirming his appointment on Wednesday.

Motorsport.com understands Suzuki’s main target to take on the team manager role before Suppo was ex-rider and current RNF Racing Yamaha chief Wilco Zeelenberg. However, Zeelenberg will remain with RNF in 2022.

Suzuki endured a difficult 2021 season, with 2020 world champion Joan Mir only able to score six podiums and finish third in the standings due to a lack of development with the GSX-RR.

But the Japanese marque looks to have taken a step forward with its bike in 2022 after a strong pre-season testing phase in Malaysia and Indonesia in February, despite Mir missing the final day of testing in Indonesia due to illness.

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