Suzuki MotoGP team boss Davide Brivio admits it's unlikely the Japanese manufacturer will have a satellite team in place for the 2020 season.
Finding a team willing to run a pair of satellite GSX-RR bikes has long been a target for Suzuki, which came close to signing up Marc VDS last year before the Belgian team dropped off the MotoGP grid.
Brivio said at the start of this year he was aiming to make swift progress on getting a second team on board for 2020, but now concedes getting things in place with Suzuki bosses in Hamamatsu is taking longer than he had envisaged.
"The satellite team is unlikely to happen before 2021," Brivio told Motorsport.com.
"We are in talks with the factory, in order to get everything that is needed at a logistical level and the material to cover those two extra bikes, but things are going slowly."
Suzuki's chances of getting a satellite team signed up are complicated by the fact most independent outfits in MotoGP now have strong links with other manufacturers.
LCR, Tech 3, Pramac and Petronas SRT all have close ties to their parent factories, leaving Avintia as the sole team that could sign up to join Suzuki in 2020.
However, last year Avintia renewed its relationship with Ducati for at least one more year, with an option contained within that agreement to cover 2020.
Besides Suzuki, Aprilia is the other manufacturer with only two bikes on the grid, but the Noale firm has stated it is focussed on building up its competitiveness - with the help of new test rider Bradley Smith, who is making five wildcards this year - before expanding to a second team.
While two grid slots are theoretically available to a new team, these are being reserved by Dorna for Valentino Rossi's VR46 team to step up to the premier class when the Italian legend retires from top-line competition.
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- Formula 1