Suzuki Motor Corporation announced this morning that it is pulling factory support from the FIM Motocross World Championship and All-Japan Motocross in 2018. The manufacturer will continue to provide support in the U.S. via the AutoTrader/Yoshimura (JGR) team, which will feature a 450 and 250 squad.
The decision from Suzuki isn’t a surprise, as rumors began to spread over the summer that the brand would be pulling support from the Grand Prix tour. According to the press release, Suzuki came to the decision after reviewing its motorcycle operations and deciding to focus on “core business functions and restructuring of our motorcycle business.”
We've spoken to Suzuki officials here who have stated, simply, that the U.S. is the largest motocross market, so it will put all of its efforts into it.
The factory MXGP had been headed by 10-time World Champion Stefan Everts since 2015 when he took over the team from Silvain Geboers. The team has had success, finishing second in the MX2 Championship this year with Jeremy Seewer.
The decision by Suzuki leaves a number of riders in limbo. Arminas Jasikonis and Seewer were expected to compete in MXGP in 2018, while Bas Vaessen and Hunter Lawrence were to contend the MX2 championship. Lawrence has landed a deal with Honda that will see him race MX2 in 2018, before moving to the U.S. in 2019 with GEICO Honda. No announcements have been made regarding the other riders.
Suzuki said it will continue to produce the RM-Z250 and 450 and support those customers throughout the world.