In an announcement made public last week Suzuki Motor Corporation confirmed that they were pulling out of MXGP and All Japan Motocross activities. Now, this may come as a surprise to many but the rumor has been floating around out there the last couple of month.
With an all-new RMZ450 for 2018, this announcement seems to come at an odd time. For most OEM’s racing is a large portion of their marketing of the brand. Not only for the specific models but for the brand as a whole. In the old days “Win on Sunday and sell on Monday” was a common marketing plan to get the brand out there, with this action what kind of marketing effort will the OEM put on the new machine in the global market? Without a presence in international racing will they instead rely on the success of the newly announced JGR racing effort to market the machine?
The other question will be in the development of a new RMZ250 and the continued development of the RMZ450. Traditionally the MXGP and All Japan series both allowed for a manufacturer to test and develop new technology away from the United States racing restrictions.
Suzuki Motor Corporation did something very similar several years ago when they got out of MotoGP to allow themselves time to regroup and then return to competition.
I guess time will tell if this is a similar move or a step away from racing.
Read the complete Suzuki announcement below.
SUZUKI MOTOR CORPORATION – MXGP AND ALL JAPAN MX STATEMENT
Suzuki Motor Corporation has decided to suspend the FIM World MXGP Championship and All Japan Motocross activities from 2018.
Suzuki Motor Corporation, having reviewed its Motorcycle operations to focus on the core business functions and restructuring of our motorcycle business, concluded to suspend the MXGP activities from 2018.
Suzuki will continue to produce RM-Z250 and 450 series and support those customers the entire world.
Suzuki expresses its great appreciation to sponsors and fans around the world for their strong support to its activities. The company will continue to provide valued products for its customers by utilizing the experiences earned through the Racing activities.