“When the measures against the coronavirus were established in the World Cup, the organization told us that only 45 workers per team could enter the
paddock and we laughed. We are only 35 so we have plenty of space,” says Davide Brivio , the Suzuki team manager , and the anecdote serves to describe the miracle: the manufacturer with the lowest budget in MotoGP has won the title. How could it happen?
The mechanics talk about a very balanced bike that is not the fastest in the straight or the fastest in the corner, but it is not weak in any way. The pilots, on the other hand, point to another virtue. “In Suzuki there is not as much pressure to win as in the bigger teams. This peculiar year, in which other riders have had problems in that sense, that has made a difference”, acknowledges
Sete Gibernau , the brand's driver in 2001 and 2002, and he's right.
In the most eventful year in the history of the championship due to the coronavirus and the absence of
Marc Márquez , other teams have succumbed to expectations and have engaged in a sharing of blame between bosses, engineers and drivers. Suzuki, on the other hand, hand in hand with Brivio, has maintained a serene atmosphere at all times. Both at the beginning of the season when he suffered the two retirements of Joan Mir and the injury of Álex Rins and at the end, this Sunday in Cheste, when he celebrated historic results. Along with the Mir World Cup and the Team World Cup, Suzuki can take the Rins runner-up and even the constructors' championship. MotoGP is not like Formula 1, titles do not raise direct revenue, but success will still make the factory grow. Hamamatsu and the comparisons
Because until now, along with good relationships in the garage, its highest distinctive was austerity. “We must justify each euro. You spend what you need, but it must make sense,” explains Brivio, who took charge of the project in 2013. Before Suzuki, who only had six World Cups, with
Barry Sheene (1976 and 1977), Marco Lucchinelli (1981), Franco Uncini (1982), Kevin Schwantz (1993) and Kenny Roberts Jr. (2000), resigned from the championship due to its multiple costs.
He returned with him, but with a very tight budget. Those who have been to the Hamamatsu factory, in southern Japan, say that the racing department is “just a garage” and that comparison with Honda or Yamaha is impossible.
“Suzuki is a very family-owned company. Other brands make sure they are the first to receive parts from the best dealers. When you are at Suzuki you know you have to wait longer,” adds Gibernau about a policy that is also derived from revenue. Suzuki, which was created as a loom company, sells less than two million motorcycles a year while Honda has a turnover of more than 20 million. In addition, it is not so international, its main market is Asia, so it is not so interested in the return that the World Cup can generate. Or, at least, he wasn't interested. Now after Mir's title everything can change. The modest manufacturer is already a great one.