Suter Officially Withdraws From Moto2 - Three Chassis Manufacturers Remain

Suter will not be competing in the Moto2 championship in 2016. In an official statement on their Facebook page, the Swiss engineering firm announced they would not be applying for a constructor's license for Moto2 in 2016, and concentrating their efforts on working with Mahindra on their Moto3 machine, and supplying a range of parts for various teams and factories in the series.

The withdrawal from Moto2 was an inevitable consequence of the steady decline in the number of bikes Suter was producing for the class. After winning the first three manufacturer's championships, from 2010 to 2012, teams started switching en masse to Kalex. The rider's championship with Marc Marquez and manufacturer's title in 2012 was the high point of their stay in Moto2, but by then, the exodus was already underway. Despite some solid performances in 2014, in the hands of Tom Luthi, Dominique Aegerter and Johann Zarco, just two Suters lined up on the grid at Qatar in 2015.

For 2016, only two teams had chosen to race a Suter, making a grand total of three bikes. Both teams would be fielding rookies: Ioda Racing had signed Efren Vazquez, and AGP had former Moto3 rider Remy Gardner, in his second year in Grand Prix racing, and newcomer Federico Fuligni. Without an experienced rider to guide development, and with no top level rider capable of immediately challenging for podiums and wins, it made no commercial sense for Suter to continue. The costs involved in developing and racing a Moto2 bike would never be recovered through sales in the Moto2 class and to other championships. How Ioda and AGP will replace the Suters is unknown at present.

The loss of Suter is in part down to performance, but much more a sign of the incredible conservatism which reigns in Grand Prix paddocks. Teams see other teams winning, and try to copy their success by choosing the same equipment. Riders struggling with results point to more successful riders, and tell their teams, "give me the same bike as him, and I will beat him". Using the same chassis, suspension, brakes as other teams eliminates one possible variable from the equation, leaving teams and riders free in their minds to concentrate on getting the best out of the equipment.

This conservatism has led to the Moto2 class becoming a virtually entirely spec class. In 2010, in the first year of the class after it replaced the 250s, there were fourteen manufacturers who entered and scored points. The following year, that was down to just seven (or eight, if you count the Pons Kalex as a different bike to the Kalex). By 2013, that number was down to five, and then four the following year. For 2016, just Kalex, Speed Up and Tech 3 remain, with 26 of the entries being Kalexes. Just how Moto2 is to become a more diverse environment again is a mystery.

The statement from the Suter Facebook page appears below:


With immediate effect, Suter Racing ends its involvement in the Moto2 GP class and will not apply for next year’s MotoGP constructor’s license. As no teams with winning riders are available to show the huge potential of our fully developed 2016 machine, Suter ends its commitment for now, having won 3 constructors titles and in 2012 also the riders championship with Marc Márquez. At the moment, our racing department is fully committed to engineering mandates for bigger motorcycle manufacturers in the Moto3 and MotoGP class. But of course we will develop and produce also in future our own brand of racing motorcycles. The planning for a new motorsport program is already well underway. 

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"Just how Moto2 is to become a more diverse environment again is a mystery."

Well, it really isn't. Open up the regulations. It's that simple. Copy the Moto3 regulations if that's the easiest way. Honda and KTM have displayed willingness to make cheap bespoke engines for Moto3, they could do the same for Moto2.

Everybody knew this would happen from the start but there was always the idea that eventually the engine regulations would be opened up. They haven't, so we're stuck with this.

And don't give me the 'it's what the teams want' line. I don't care about the teams, a quarter of them could disappear and nobody would notice. The class as it is now is only interesting to teams, and not to more important groups like manufacturers, riders and fans.

How does increasing costs by a factor of 10 improve the situation? By your preferred "solution" we'd very soon be back to teams paying exorbitant sums to lease the 4T equivalent of an Aprilia RSA/RSW250 except with a Kalex frame and (insert flavour of the month engine here). Opening up the regulations doesn't solve a thing, all it does is increase costs.

Make it expensive enough and we're back to a manufacturer's only series and a repeat of:
"Hiro-san, I hear this is the last 250 2T World Championship, I think the trophy would nicely fill that dusty void in the foyer. Add another 200 million yen to the 250 GP budget."
"But Tanaka-san, we only have Aoyama to challenge for the title....."
"Hmmmm, yes I understand, best make it 400 million yen."

And from what I recall, far from your "Everybody knew this would happen from the start" there seemed to be near universal excitement at the outset of the series. With alloy beam, CroMo trellis, alloy trellis, composite frames etc etc there were some very interesting early frame offerings from many different manufacturers. Not to mention there were none of the electronic aids that were creeping into 250GP or the ruinously expensive costs. So again I'll respectfully disagree with your statement.

But you're absolutely right: why should we give the teams what the what? I mean, they are only the ones putting their time, effort, and money on the line to provide our entertainment eh? Forget the fact that people like me actually enjoy the fact I can look at Moto2 and know that the best rider/team won without funding being a huge determinant. I also like the way the bikes actually look/sound quick, as opposed to the drone-fest of Moto3 or the slot-bikes of MotoGP. As it is a Moto2 lap sits very nicely between Moto3 and MotoGP, despite only costing a fraction of either.

Speaking of Moto3, you mean the series where Honda looked like getting their arse handed to them by that laddish young Miller fellow, so chucked an extra few million yen at their project to buy young Marquez a comfy lil' hp advantage? Yeah, nah, not for me I'm afraid. The way a race often resembles a pack of 6 year old's playing soccer, with one big scrum hacking away at the football frustrates rather than excites me I'm afraid.

But everything else not withstanding: THERE IS NO MONEY to support your future model. If the Yamaha MotoGP squad have struggled to find a decent sponsor what chance for a Moto2 squad? Sorry to labour the point but THERE IS NO MONEY. Our sport is badly managed and poorly marketed: no-one outside of a small clique of fans knows it exists and Dorna seem hell bent on maintaining the secret at all costs. So champagne dreams on a beer budget do no-one any good: THERE IS NO MONEY!!!!!!

But one solution might be to simply tie Dorna's support to the number of offerings per manufacturer. Instead of each team receiving X amount of euro's, split the total support pool equally by the number of manufacturers, then redistribute that secondary pool amongst the number of teams using that manufacturer. So if you choose to run a Kalex along with 20 other teams you receive little support, but run say a Speedup with only 3 other teams and you receive and heck of a lot more. This way all the lesser known or early adopters of new manufacturers are rewarded for thinking outside the box rather than just following the herd.

That's some pretty incoherent rambling. And wrong on pretty much all accounts. Let me break it down for you.

Your first point is wrong because Moto3 proves it can be done with a simple cost cap on packages delivered to teams. No preferential treatment and no exhorbitant costs.

Of course people experiment at the start of a new formula. But everybody knew that would converge on one solution used by everybody. That was alright because the idea was always to allow other engine manufacturers to compete with the Honda 600 at some point. That seems to have been put on hold indefenitely. All those interesting frames and solutions you mentioned are already long gone.

If you think money has nothing to do with who wins in Moto2 I'm afraid you're being extremely naive. Why do you think it's been the richest teams that win the championship? (Pons, MarcVDS, Ajo). Just because you like the 'look' of the bikes doesn't mean the championship is healthy or the racing is exciting. It's neither.

It's fine if you don't like the racing in Moto3. But again, irrelevant. 125s were pretty much the same, slow light bikes on long fast tracks equals pack racing. Has zero to do with the regulations. And again, Honda can spend what they want but the teams can afford the bikes because the rules force Honda to sell them at an affordable price.

And there so clearly is money. There is a waiting list for Moto2 every year. So even if the running costs increase (which they don't have to) there is more than enough money to run a healthy amount of teams. There is such a thing as undervalueing your product and that's what's happening here. If almost amateur outfits can compete on the second highest level of motorsports something is wrong.

So yeah, wrong wrong and wrong again. If I may throw up a suggestion you seem to base your entire thought process on your irrational dislike of manufacturers. Not very constructive I'm afraid.

I have nothing whatsover against manufacturers, what I do have is a dislike of cubic dollars trumping talent. Moto2 is the only format where pure talent shines through regardless. Yup money is always important but Zarco won the 2015 WC on a 2014 frame, something any rider/team on the grid could aspire to......if they were good enough.

Which is why the wealthy teams win: they can afford to pay the best riders. Unlike the cash strapped teams where talent is important but not quite as important as how much money they can bring. This isn't rocket science and with your fondness for technology I'm suprised the concept has escaped you.

"Almost amateur outfits"? Holy Bridgestones, where do you live? Monaco? I'm guessing you are not an accountant because I can't for the life of me figure out how adding bespoke engines is not going to increase costs despite your assertion "they don't have to". Or if you ARE an accountant can you please help me out with my tax return, you've a talent for hiding money!

Nor can I see how adding a different engine or two, which by your own admission will soon gravitate towards whichever combo works best again, improves the series as a whole. Eventually we will simply be back where we started, with everyone on the favoured combination. Spending a heap more money will have achieved exactly nothing.

You either have to restrict the number of each manufacturer or provide worthwhile incentives to run something different.

But at the end of the day I value rider talent and you value technological innovation and never the twain shall meet.

Make it more like Moto3. Set bore, stroke & valve size. The rest is up to the manufacturers and teams.

I watch two races during a weekend. Moto3 & MotoGP. Moto2 had become a yawn fest. Even World Supersport is more diverse & competitive than Moto2.

As JB suggested before he was retired, the solution probably involves standardisation, and that this standardisation needs to be around engine capacity (same bore x same stroke x variable number of cylinders), meaning moto3 is 250cc x 1, moto2 would become 250cc x 2, and motogp would be 250cc x 4.

Meaning R&D for one class of engine would benefit all engine capacities provided by that manufacturer, and make engine development a little more useable across multiple classes. Engineering (to some extent) AND therefore engineers would be common across all 3 classes, meaning running 3 classes would be vastly cheaper for factories than it is now, and they'd also get their product on the grid 3 times a day!

Open up the regulations, frames, suspension, and even tyres but make the control method across all classes the same.

The result would likely be (for example) Suzuki would have a moto3 and moto2 bike as well the GP bike, and wouldn't full factory support across all 3 classes be something to see!

The original concept of Moto2 limited teams to one engine choice in the hope that this would encourage new designs and engineering solutions and give new constructors a stable platform on which to enter Grand Prix racing. IMHO the ecomonic environment has overwhelmed these objectives and most teams without the tosh for innovation can still survive using the emerged conservative business model. It's sobering to consider that multiple innovative design solutions just aren't that plentiful in motorcycling today, at least, not at the asking price.

they should restricting the number of bikes/manufacturer or obliterate single engine rule but still using 600cc production engine so other chassis manufacturers have a change to compete. i think it's quite realistic economically. it'd nice to see top 4 japanese manufacture compete each other again

I have never been in favour of the single engined formula, it is now effectively a single machine class and a total anti climax to a race weekend.

I have been here before suggesting a 500cc twin formula open to all manufacturers, with regulations similar to Moto3. This would effectively be half of a MotoGP engine and twice a Moto3 engine. This to me makes complete sense and opens the door for smaller chassis manufacturers to make things work with different engine manufacturers.

I am sick of hearing people trying to tell me what an exciting class Moto2 currently is and how much the teams think it's great for the sport. It's not, production engines have no place in Grand Prix racing, they are half baked Supersport engines and any class that has to use the word 'super' in it's title is anything but!

Wake up, Moto2 is dead in its current form, Suter's exit confirms it!

In my opinion, Gran Prix racing has three very distinct classes:

Maniac Class - Moto 3: It's fun, but the manufacturers still influence who wins.

Rider and Team Class - Moto 2: It's all about the people. The best team and rider win most of the time.

Four Bike Class - MotoGP: For years only 4 bikes have been good enough to win, the only variation was that occasionally CS27 could drag the Ducati into the game. To me the technology used to be interesting, but now the secrecy is so impenetrable that all I know is that it's expensive and exotic, but essentially unknown and no longer interesting.

Different things for different people.

It's a case of riders and teams versus the manufacturers in some ways. The rider wants to be world champion and to do that he thinks that he must be on the same bike as the current points leader. The team wants to make a profit by winning and thinks the same way. That kills the spirit of those small manufacturers that have crazy innovations that could really work if developed because no one wants to take a chance on missing out at wins or prize money, etc. I really loved the look of that forkless bike that's run a few times but David summed it all up in this article.

At the outset of the 250GP era we only had two bikes being utilized. I was looking fwd to the prospect of some smaller constructor teams popping up, envisioning a bunch of Tech 3 - like outfits when we went to Moto2. There must be a dozen potentials. The costs went down, number of teams clamoring to enter went up, but where did all those small project entries go? I have read and understand articles here and elsewhere addressing the conservative tendency of teams to have what every one else is running but that doesn't seem to illuminate this for me. How did we end up with a bunch of customer teams instead of builder projects? And what is the easiest way to move from a heap of customer teams and a couple builders to the other way around? The class seems to be in a neither here nor there gap. Off to watch BSB...

as it does the market intrests.

The lightweight category is hot and the middle weight is stale. Dorna and the FIM want in on more of the action too and have asked the manufactures for input on a new 300cc category for the WSBK series. This at the same time they introduce STK rules to standardize and cut back the WSS category.

Suter is an engineering services company. That's where they get paid. They are not around to supply machined parts to teams running on tight budgets which are one sponsor or rider deal away from withdrawing.

We have seen this before with Suter, as alluded to in the article which briefly makes mention that the exodus that began prior to Marquez 2012 championship. Reason being Suter devoted their intrests to their highest paying customer for their engineering services, Marquez Repsol backed team. Updates derived from private tests were not made available to other teams. Other teams saw through Suter's reasons that a manufacturing backlog kept them from getting updates and they bailed off to Kalex.

Suter's current partnership in Moto3 with Mahindra is blossoming, and with the Indian manufacture taking 51% ownership of Peugeot's two wheel division for a year now, they are wasting no time in putting their new brand on the track in moto3.

From a rule structure perspective, new and innovative designs are more possible in Moto2 versus Moto3 where designs must be homologated and can only be updated once a season and only if all teams are provided said update simultaneously.

Moto2's issue is development is only going to exist where there is someone willing to pay for it. And a middle category in manufacturers product line is typically not how they get average customers in the showroom. This area has nearly always been of racing interest.

Surely it's not beyond the wit of the rule makers to draw up a set of rules which precludes the return of the super special ala the former 250 class?
That is what I am suggesting, not a return to the crazy days of yore!
These machines could become available for National racing also, creating another feeder for talent to rise to GP level.

It seems to me that one of the worst things to happen to racing was the manufacturer led introduction of the Superbike and Supersport classes, apart from destroying its creator class, F1, it gradually led to manufacturers withdrawing racing machines from their model line ups, destroyed the innovation of small chassis manufacturers who grafted racing engines into their own chassis and produced modifications that could propel riders to stardom.

I think it was Michael Scott who once wrote in one of his many columns that Moto2 racing was something that would interest either a complete novice who did not know anything about motorcycle racing or a retarded idiot who would think Moto2 is great because of its close racing. I respect Scott in spite of his being extremely arrogant and self-righteous because he usually has a good point or two behind all that verbal venom. I too have been saying that the Moto2 class is a World Chassis Championship and now that possibility has also disappeared with all the Moto2 teams crowning the Kalex chassis as the best. So one way of looking at it is that the championship is already over. A spec Honda engine in a Kalex chassis is the winner. But we forget the riders here.

After watching MotoGP where you have a distinct class system within the category (factory Yamahas and Hondas are the upper class, the factory Ducatis, the satellite teams of Yamaha and Honda the upper middle class, the Suzukis and the hand me down Ducatis are the middle class and the privateer Hondas and the Aprilias and the ART are the lower class)and where the camera is focussed only upon the upper class bikes which within a lap or two pull two to three seconds on the other classes, it seams for me that I am watching only three or four bikes racing. The others are so inconsequential that the Director does not even show the others racing each other except for a few nano seconds or a replay of a fall. So the rest are making up the numbers and I do not even know the colour scheme of the Avintias and the Ioda motorcycles. So what is the big deal with MotoGP anyway.

I would really like to take Valentino Rossi very seriously about his comment that the rider is more important than the machine and ask all the tech assisted MotoGP hotshots to compete in the Moto2 races. That would be great for it will tell us if Rossi is right. In Formula1 Mika Salo who was a habitual tail ender, one got an opportunity to drive the Ferrari when Michael Schumacher was injured with a broken leg and his team mate Eddie Irvine was struggling to keep a healthy points lead and in that one race (Monza perhaps, but I am not sure) Mika Salo was in a position to win the race but was made to settle for second so that Eddie Irvine could increase the margin of his lead. If Mika Salo didn't get that Ferrari opportunity we would have never thought of him as being capable of driving in the front of the field. The Aliens are what they are not just because of their riding skills but also because of the machinery that they have.

So these days I suspend my problems with Moto2 or simply put I suspend my disbelief about Moto2 and watch the races. They are actually alright. That is of course not to say they cannot or should not get better. All I am saying is that just pushing some thoughts aside can actually make you like the Moto2 category with all its problems and limitations.

David you have been answering questions and responding to comments so I would appreciate if you can clarify for me if Suter is still partnering Mahindra. What I heard from someone in Mahindra is that they are know sourcing different parts from different suppliers in Italy and that is the reason why they have moved out of Switzerland and that they have ended their relationship with Suter. Is this really the case? An answer will be hugely appreciated and thank you in advance.

Hard to say, but I think the rider affects the overall performance more than a driver... A quick stat to explain the floor in your argument.

Ducati total wins: 31 wins: 23 by Casey Stoner, 7 by Loris Capirossi and 1 by Troy Bayliss.

Yet Valentino, whom I think has been so formative in building the profile of the sport, did not win any. This does not mean Vale is not as good as the three above (and 7 MotoGP championships prove that beyond question), it simply means that the bike did not suit Vale and many others for that matter.

So what happens if you give a back marker Vale's bike? I'd guess the lucky rider would beat his back marking mates, but that's where it would end in my opinion.

When each of the Aliens arrived, even if they did not get a Repsol ride in their first season, they were at the pointy end of the grid almost straight away. Stoner's second ever motoGP race saw him on Pole at Qatar on what was a satellite team's bike, inferior tyres, less power and he gets a pole - bet they were happy!

I remember a stunningly fast accident prone Lorenzo arriving as well, he was quick straight off, but a little wild compared to the metronome he has become. I truly love watching the flawless Gorge ride, just incredible.

I know that certain riders tend to dominate in Moto3 but the racing is always close. The same can not be said of Moto2 any more. As you say, the best funded team with the best riders will always win, even in a class which is effectively a one make control class.
I'm sorry, I have tried to get excited about Moto2 since 2010 and apart from a good beginning it has now found its level. I can't see it getting better, and despite what you say about MotoGP having the same front runners, the same is true of Moto2 with less excitement.
I still maintain, as I always have, that a class based around 500cc twins with similar rules to Moto3 would produce what the paying public wants, close racing with factory and technical interest.
I attend a few rounds and pay a BT Sport subscription along with many who do similar, my money, like theirs asks for better than Moto2 as it stands!

My understanding is the Valle's crew chief has been quoted that the important thing in Gp is the bike and SBK it is the rider.

Matt Oxley has an interesting article on Moto 2 chassis in the December issue of Road Racing World.

Much the same as what David states, only adding that many riders believe the Suter was harder to setup. The Kalex is more forgiving.