Suzuki is accused of equipping at least 22,000 diesel cars with illegal “defeat devices” – similar to the VW group. Should the million fine now be paid with the saved MotoGP budget?
Suzuki has not been a regular participant in the Superbike World Championship since 2015, and since 2018, the GSX-R1000RR has been completely absent from the SBK network. The Belgian Alstare team organized Suzuki’s appearance in the Superbike World Championship for many years, and Crescent joined from 2012. Since the British team took over from Yamaha after the 2015 season, Suzuki has only performed occasionally with wildcard pilots in the near-series world championships. . For example, the British Gino Rea and Bradley Ray were present at the SBK meeting in Donington 2018. Surprisingly, Suzuki 2021 announced a guest start from Naomichi Uramoto in the debut of the 2021 World Superbike Championship at the Circuito de Navarra in August. The Japanese piloted a GSX-R1000 from JEG Racing.
In the Motocross World Championship (MX2 and MXGP), at the end of September 2017, Suzuki made the blatant decision to retire at the end of the year. In the MotoGP World Championship, Suzuki is now planning its second eleven-year retreat. At the time, the Japanese took a break of four years, returning in 2015 with the 1000cc in-line four-cylinder bike called the GSX-RR.
Suzuki Motor Corporation will no longer be represented in any well-known championship, except for the Endurance World Championship, which has only four events a year and most recently at Easter at the 24-hour race in Le Mans with a Suzuki triumph experienced season start.
In the MotoGP World Championship, the Suzuki Ecstar held up remarkably well. Alex Rins has three wins for Suzuki so far. Joan Mir one, he also won the 2020 World Cup, Rins finished in third place in the World Cup. Last year, Mir finished third in the MotoGP season with six podiums in 18 races.
So the results deserve respect, even though Mir and Rins are not exactly the guys with the most charisma in the field, they are pretty boring off the bike.
Since Suzuki’s return in 2015, they have also not competed as a factory team with international ambitions, but more as an Italian private team with all Italian and Spanish staff. In terms of marketing strategy, Suzuki never used the MotoGP platform in a targeted way to improve its image; in terms of marketing and communication, this team has always acted in second rank.
But it fit seamlessly into the core business situation. Because the motorcycle division of the global company has been very sluggish for years. The model range looks hopelessly outdated, there are no innovative motorcycles to be seen, the Suzuki designers have not set any accents for years, the dealers can only survive with another brand.
While all competitors from Honda to Ducati to KTM, BMW and Triumph polished their image with sporting successes, Suzuki never really exploited the successes.
And we know: If you do not advertise, you will die.
Apparently, the MotoGP team’s budget of 30 million no longer fit into the Suzuki concept, the Japanese team kept lagging behind in the technical arms race due to limited resources. With the rear ride height device and the holeshot device, Suzuki was one of the last manufacturers to use such a system in MotoGP.
While Suzuki Motor Corporation President Hiroshi Tsuda begged the MotoGP team to continue, the board suddenly and cold-bloodedly turned off the money out of the blue over the weekend.
House surveys at Suzuki
But now it turned out: A few days ago, at the behest of the prosecution, searches were carried out in the Suzuki departments in Germany, Italy and Hungary in connection with the diesel scandal in the car industry. Suzuki is said to have defrauded the EU of exhaust gas regulations with illegal dumping devices, like many other car manufacturers, above all the Volkswagen Group.
The Frankfurt Public Prosecutor’s Office is investigating the suspicion that Suzuki sold and put 22,000 diesel vehicles into operation with illegal defeat devices.
By means of these illegal shut-off devices in the engine management of diesel vehicles, the applicable EU emission standards were only achieved in a special test bench mode. In normal operation, on the other hand, a large part of the exhaust gas purification system was largely switched off, so that NOx emissions were massively reduced or the exhaust gas purification system was completely paralyzed. The Suzuki models SX4-S Cross, Swift and Vitara are said to be affected.
By “Diesel Gate” Volkswagen AG, the relevant software was used in about eleven million vehicles in the VW EA189 engine series worldwide. In the EU and US, the successor VW EA288 was also hit.
In addition to the Suzuki executives, the CEOs and board members of the Fiat Chrysler Group (now Stellantis) and of Marelli are also under suspicion, as the agency “dpa” reported.
The diesel engines are said to be supplied by Fiat Chrysler, the software from Marelli.
For this reason, business premises in Heidelberg, Corbetta (Italy) and Esztergom (Hungary) were searched in the last few days of April. Authorities are said to have confiscated data sets, software and planning documents.
Due to the proximity of time to the completely surprising MotoGP withdrawal, the question can be asked: Did the Suzuki board bury the MotoGP project in a coup to more easily pay the expected fines of the triple-digit million in the automotive industry?
We are eager to hear the official statement from Suzuki Motor Corporation, which has failed to put together an official statement on the planned 30-hour withdrawal.
Results of MotoGP Jerez (May 1):
1. Pecco Bagnaia (I), Ducati, 25 laps in 41: 00.554 min.
2. Fabio Quartararo (F), Yamaha, + 0.285s
3. Aleix Espargaró (E), Aprilia, +10.977
4. Marc Marquez (E), Honda, +12,676
5. Jack Miller (AUS), Ducati, +12,957
6. Joan Mir (E), Suzuki, +13.934
7. Takaaki Nakagami (J), Honda, +14,929
8. Enea Bastianini (I), Ducati, +18,436
9. Marco Bezzecchi (I), Ducati, +18,830
10. Brad Binder (ZA), KTM, +20.056
11. Pol Espargaró (E), Honda, +20.856
12.Miguel Oliveira (P), KTM, +23.131
13. Alex Marquez (E), Honda, +25,306
14. Maverick Vinales (E), Aprilia, +27,358
15. Franco Morbidelli (I), Yamaha, +27,519
16. Luca Marini (I), Ducati, +29,278
17. Andrea Dovizioso (I), Yamaha, +35.204
18. Fabio Di Giannantonio (I), Ducati, +35,361
19. Alex Rins (E), Suzuki, +38.922
20. Remy Gardner (AUS), KTM, +43.378
21. Lorenzo Savadori (I), Aprilia, +44,299
22. Jorge Martin (E), Ducati, +1: 07.681 min
– Stefan Bradl (D), Honda, 15 laps left
– Johann Zarco (F), Ducati, 16 laps behind
– Darryn Binder (ZA), Yamaha, 20 laps left
Championship status after 6 of 21 Grand Prix:
1. Quartararo 89 point. 2 Aleix Espargaró 82 3 Bastianini 69 4 Rins 69 5 Bagnaia 56 6 Mir 56 7 Zarco 51 8 Brad Binder 48 9 Marc Marquez 44 10 Oliveira 43 11 Miller 42nd 12 Pol Espargaró 3 Martin Vi 35 1bid 35 1 2 1bid 35 1 1bid Alex Marquez 16 18 Bezzecchi 15 19 Marini 14 20 Dovizioso 8 21 Darryn Binder 6. 22. Gardner 3.
1. Ducati, 131 points. 2. Yamaha 89. 3. Aprilia 83. 4. Suzuki 80. 5. KTM 76. 6. Honda 57.
1. Suzuki Ecstar, 125 points. 2nd Aprilia Racing 109 3rd Monster Energy Yamaha 107 4th Ducati Lenovo 98th 5th Red Bull KTM Factory 91st 6th Pramac Racing 79th 7th Repsol Honda 79th 8th Gresini Racing MotoGP 69th 9th LCR Honda 10/37 Mooney VR1NF29 1 Yamaha R1NF29 Racing Tech3 KTM Factory 3