Title-winning Ducati and Honda MotoGP team manager Livio Suppo says ‘if Suzuki call me, I will listen’, following Davide Brivio’s shock departure.
Brivio’s imminent switch to F1 means Suzuki, the newly crowned MotoGP riders’ and teams’ world champions, have been left without a team manager with just over a month to go until the start of 2021 pre-season testing.
“Sincerely, it was shocking news for us about Davide’s departure,” admitted Suzuki MotoGP project leader Shinichi Sahara. “Now we are trying to find the best way to cover for the ‘Davide loss’.”
Normally, when a MotoGP team is in need of a new manager, they try to recruit someone already familiar with the company. That either means promoting from inside the team or – in the case of Yamaha and Ducati – bringing senior staff across from their WorldSBK/WSS projects.
But Suzuki has no obvious person ready to step into Brivio shoes and no WorldSBK project to recruit from.
Other options are to try and poach a rival team boss, as occurred most recently when Gigi Dall’Igna moved from Aprilia to Ducati in 2013, and when Suppo switched from Ducati to Honda in 2010.
Suppo then celebrated four more titles with Marc Marquez in 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017 before deciding the time was right to leave MotoGP, albeit adding “never say never” as far as a possible return.
If Suzuki wants to replace one multi-title winning MotoGP team manager with another (and without poaching from a rival) they would be hard-pressed to find someone more highly qualified than 56-year-old Suppo, a consultant for Thok Ebikes since leaving the paddock.
“I should have to think about it… MotoGP has been my life for many years and sometimes I miss it,” Suppo told Crash.net, when asked if he would consider the newly available Suzuki role.
“Let’s see if Suzuki will call me, in which case I will listen to them and see!”