SportMotoGPSuzuki runs out of time and options to find...

Suzuki runs out of time and options to find a team manager

With 90 days to go before the official start of the 2022 season with the Qatar Grand Prix, the Suzuki team has not yet made a statement about who will occupy the position of team manager, vacant since the departure of Davide Brivio announced at the beginning of January this year.

In the team they have realized that the self-management formula imposed after the resignation of the Italian executive has not worked as expected, and they are determined to fill the position in 2022.

One of the people who had aroused the most interest among the directors of the Hamamatsu -based team to fill the position was Francesco Guidotti , until this year Pramac Ducati team manager. However, the Italian was announced this week as the new head of the KTM MotoGP team.

Another highly valued option was that of former Dutch rider Wilco Zeelenberg , linked in recent years to Yamaha and, more recently, to the satellite team refounded as RFN Racing Team , with whom he has renewed his contract until the end of 2022, expanding his responsibilities.

Although Shinichi Sahara himself, Suzuki’s top executive in MotoGP, ruled out during the last Valencia Grand Prix that Davide Brivio could leave Alpine at the end of the course to return to the team with which he won the double crown in 2020, the possibility is not completely closed.

The now competition director of Alpine F1 has a contract with the French team next season. However, the CEO of the formation, Laurent Rossi , declared at the beginning of November that no one in that team had a guaranteed position. “As for the future, Davide, like any other person in the team, will evolve in the organization that I decide, following the changes that I will decide at the end of the season. He is no different from the rest of the staff,” the Alpine CEO said in a conversation with Motorsport.com .

If Brivio finally does not enter Alpine’s plans for 2022, he could be released and therefore become a real option to return to the position of team manager at Suzuki, although there is some disparity at the Hamamatsu factory opinion on that possibility.

Apparently, not all executives in Japan would welcome Brivio’s return after leaving the team abruptly eleven months ago. What could complicate a possible maneuver to pick up the 57-year-old executive. In any case, at least one would have to wait until the end of the F1 season, on December 12, to know his future.

Suzuki team manager options reduced

Two months before the start of the 2022 pre-season in Sepang , on February 5 and 6, Suzuki’s options to fill the team manager position are dramatically reduced and, in addition, the team received a clear warning from Joan Mir, the champion of 2020, who clearly warned that: “The name of the new team manager will count in my renewal”, whose negotiations have not started despite ending the contract at the end of next year.

Among the possible candidates for the position, the name of Livio Suppo , director of the Ducati team between 2003 and 2009, and of Honda, from where he was fired at the end of 2017 without having held, since then, any position related to MotoGP.

Another profile that could fit for the position is that of Petonas-Yamaha’s sports director until this year, Johan Stigefelt , who will not continue with the refounded RFN Racing Team in 2022. The 45-year-old former Swedish driver has an extensive career, first in SBK as team manager, and from 2012 in the MotoGP paddock, where he went through Moto3 before joining Razlan Razali ‘s lineup in 2015 and expanding the Malaysian team to the premier class as sporting director.

Sylvain Guintoli , a Suzuki test rider since 2017, is another option being considered from Japan, although the 39-year-old rider has initially ruled out hanging up his monkey to take over the leadership of the Japanese manufacturer’s MotoGP structure.

Sylvain Guintoli, center, together with Joan Mir, and his technical chief, Frankie Carchedi,

Sylvain Guintoli, centro, junto a Joan Mir, y su jefe técnico, Frankie Carchedi,

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Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Sylvain Guintoli, Team Suzuki MotoGP

Sylvain Guintoli, Team Suzuki MotoGP

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Photo by: Dorna

Livio Suppo, in his time as Team Principal at Repsol Honda Team

Livio Suppo, en su época de Team Principal en Repsol Honda Team

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Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Marc Márquez and Livio Suppo in an image from 2017

Marc Márquez y Livio Suppo en una imagen de 2017

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Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Johan Stigefelt junto a Wilco Zeelenberg

Johan Stigefelt junto a Wilco Zeelenberg

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Photo de: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Francesco Guidotti, was one of Suzuki’s favourites, but has been announced by KTM

Francesco Guidotti, era uno de los preferidos de Suzuki, pero ha sido anunciado por KTM

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Photo by: KTM

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