Suzuki’s works MotoGP team has been left shocked by the departure of its championship-winning team manager Davide Brivio, who has been linked with a move to Alpine in Formula 1.
Brivio has led Suzuki’s factory outfit in MotoGP since it returned to the top class of motorcycle racing in 2013, culminating in the remarkable championship success for Joan Mir (pictured at left, above, with Brivio) and the team last season. However, the Italian has been linked with a surprising move to F1 as Alpine CEO as part of a team restructuring amid its rebranding from Renault, and Suzuki project leader Shinichi Sahara says it is a major blow to lose Brivio.
“Sincerely, it was shocking news for us about Davide’s departure from Team Suzuki Ecstar,” Sahara said. “It feels like somebody took a part of me, because I always discussed with him how to develop the team and the bikes, and we’ve worked together for a long time. In 2020 we achieved fantastic results despite the unusual and difficult situation due to COVID-19. And 2021 will be an even more important year for us to keep the momentum.
“Now we are trying to find the best way to cover for the ‘Davide loss’. Luckily in most cases I have had quite a similar way of thinking to him, therefore it is not so difficult to keep the direction we should go as Team Suzuki Ecstar, I think. We would like to wish him the best of luck for the future.”
While there has been no confirmation of his next move, Brivio says it was a different opportunity that tempted him away from the MotoGP paddock.
“A new professional challenge and opportunity suddenly came to me and in the end I decided to take it,” Brivio said. “It has been a difficult decision. The hardest part will be to leave this fabulous group of people, whom I started this project with when Suzuki rejoined the championship. And it’s hard to say goodbye also to all the people who have arrived over the years to create this great team. I feel sad from this point of view, but at the same time I feel a lot of motivation for this new challenge — which was the key when I had to decide between renewing my contract with Suzuki or starting a completely new experience.
“Achieving a MotoGP title is something that will remain in the Suzuki history books and it will always have a special place in my life memories. I would like to deeply thank all the Suzuki management for their trust and confidence in me, which they had since the beginning. I would like to thank every single member of our MotoGP group in Japan and at the track, all the Suzuki network, and of course all the riders who rode for the team in this period, especially Joan and Alex (Rins) who did a great 2020 season.
“Joan becoming world champion was a dream come true for me and for all the people who worked hard and accompanied me on this magnificent journey. I wish the best to Team Suzuki MotoGP, I hope that the results in the future will be better and better and I will always be a Suzuki fan. Thanks very much Suzuki!”