Alex Rins only knew about Suzuki team manager Davide Brivio’s plans to leave MotoGP for F1 a day before it become public.
When told, the Spaniard initially thought Brivio was joking and admits it was a ‘big shock’.
“Well, this Brivio situation is new for me also, because the day before [the news] was in the media, he called me and told me, “Alex, I have something to say. I’m leaving the Suzuki team.”
“And I said, “OK, where are you going?” I was thinking it was a big joke! But it was true. It was a big shock for me and for all of the team, but it’s his decision.”
Suzuki has opted not to replace Brivio with project leader Shinichi Sahara expected to take over most of the Italian’s work, for now at least.
“It looks like Suzuki doesn’t want to put anybody [new] there now. If they think this, it will be the best thing, because it’s not easy to choose a team manager quickly,” Rins said. “I think the situation in the team is good. I think we will keep it like this.”
Brivio, who previously won MotoGP titles with Valentino Rossi and Yamaha, was appointed Suzuki team manager ahead of the factory’s 2015 return.
One of Brivio’s key roles was in rider signings, including winning the signatures of Rins and newly-crowned world champion team-mate Joan Mir.
“For sure we will miss him because we were always talking a lot, doing jokes in the team with him and he also gave me good advice,” Rins said. “I hope he can come to some races as a visitor and I wish him good luck in Formula 1.”
And would Rins have renewed with Suzuki until the end of 2023 if he had known Brivio would be leaving?
“It’s a good question, but honestly I think I would have stayed. Suzuki is a great family. Brivio is leaving, but he leaves with a lot done.”
Brivio has accepted the role of racing director for the Alpine F1 team (formerly Renault).