GSV-R since 2007. Noting financial constraints, Suzuki opted to
pull out of the championship with a clear intention to return soon.
As it turns out, Suzuki was probably waiting for more favorable
conditions to prevail before bringing its new GSX-RR racer to
This time the engine is an in-line four, with all the typical specs
that fill the grid of MotoGP – twin-spar aluminum frame, Brembo
and Ohlins. Suzuki had been developing this new machine for at
least four years, and designed it around the electronic package
that is now enforced by Dorna throughout the field. The fact that
both Suzukis were capable of finishing consistently in the top ten
in their first year is more or less unsurprising.
Having secured the services of Davide Brivio, the Italian team
manager that played a pivotal role in luring Valentino Rossi to
Yamaha in 2004, Suzuki hired one of the most talented young
riders, the Spaniard Maverick Vinales, next to Aleix Espargaro.
Vinales has already shown some fragments of his talent, with a
sixth place in the first race of 2016 and falling while chasing
Valentino Rossi for second place in Argentina.
The Italian company carries a huge tradition in Grand Prix
racing, especially in the smaller classes. In MotoGP Aprilia has
been present during the last years in the Open class, with
motorcycles derived from the RSV4 superbike. Last year though
Aprilia partnered with Gresini Racing and formed a factory squad
that would prepare with an underpowered bike while waiting for
the brand new RS-GP bike that was introduced this year.
The new engine is described as a narrow V4 in an alumimun
frame, with all the typical gear that we’ve learnt to expect –
Brembo and Ohlins anyone?
The RS-GP is still a rather unknown quantity, although having
both placed in the top-10 of the Argentinian GP is a very good
result. We’re talking about a bike that Aprilia’s riders, Alvaro
Bautista and Stefan Bradl, first tested on February.
The Austrian factory is no stranger to MotoGP as it was present
during the first four-stroke years. KTM quickly withdrew from the
highest class, but has remained as a main contender in the
smallest Moto3 category.
As of next year, KTM returns to MotoGP with a brand new bike
called RC16. Information is rather scarce, but we do know that it is
a V4 and it will be the only prototype on the grid with a tubular
steel frame and WP suspensions.
So far KTM is testing with ex-GP riders Randy de Puniet, Mika
Kallio and Alex Hofmann, while for its debut year it has already
contracted the talented Englishman Bradley Smith.
With Red Bull as the main sponsor, KTM is expected to make its
racing debut this year in August as a wildcard entry at the Austrian
GP, which will take place at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria.