Suzuki MotoGP project leader Shinichi Sahara has revealed that the reigning MotoGP world champions have formed a seven-person ‘committee’ to fill the void left by the surprise departure of team manager Davide Brivio.
It’s not yet clear how long the committee will remain in place, but Sahara said it’s ‘working very well so far’ and gives the factory time to carefully consider a future replacement for Brivio.
Sahara confirmed the ideal solution would be to promote somebody within the team to team manager, but that they would ‘choose a guy from outside if necessary’.
Brivio, who oversaw Valentino Rossi‘s world titles at Yamaha, had been Suzuki team manager since the factory’s 2015 MotoGP return. But just two months after Joan Mir‘s historic triumph, he surprised the team by leaving to become racing director of the Alpine (Renault) F1 squad.
“We’ve established a team management committee with the key persons in the team,” explained Sahara, who said he had replied ‘which year are you talking about?’ when first informed by Brivio that he would be leaving MotoGP for F1.
“These key persons are in charge, item-by-item, session-by-session, for discussing matters and exchanging information. This is the way we chose to manage the situation after Davide’s departure.
“In the committee there are seven persons, including me and Ken Kawauchi the technical manager [see below for the full list].
“I don’t know who will become team manager in the future, but for everybody it’s a good chance to learn what the team management job is, to be involved in the committee and exchange all the information about what we need to do.
“I think those guys, and also other team members, are highly skilled. So it’s no wonder if somebody can be promoted to team manager in the future… but not me!”
Sahara added: “The team manager’s job is not simple and there were various kinds of jobs that Davide was doing. But for the moment I can’t imagine any significantly difficult job because, as I said, we have many skilled persons in the team that can compensate for Davide’s departure.
“We’ve only just started the new system with the team management committee and it’s worked very well so far. Everything is under control I feel. Even I think the team are united more than before.
“Because before Davide gathered the opinions, suggestions or requests from those guys – from the marketing point of view, technical point of view – and forwarded to me and other persons, so sometimes these suggestions were filtered or amplified.
“But now we can communicate more directly, so for that reason I feel we are united more than before and we are trying to solve this difficult situation together.
“We haven’t had a single race yet with this committee system. So we will see and, if necessary, we will think to choose one guy from outside [as team manager] but I cannot imagine now who that person would be or if it’s necessary or not.
“The best situation is if I can promote somebody within the team to become team manager in the future. But anyway, if somebody gets promoted to team manager, then we will need another person to replace this guy’s original position. We will see during the season.”
Suzuki’s ‘magnificent seven’ team management committee is as follows:
Shinichi Sahara – Project Leader
Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager
Frankie Carchedi – Joan Mir’s Crew Chief
José Manuel Cazeaux – Alex Rins’ Crew Chief
Alberto Gomez – Marketing & Communication Manager
Mitia Dotta – Team Coordinator
Roberto Brivio – Team Coordinator