A mainstay of the WorldSBK Championship, Suzuki has been rather conspicuous by its absence in recent years despite developing an all-new GSX-R1000R to take on Honda, Kawasaki and Yamaha in the real world too.
There hasn’t been a full-time Suzuki presence on the grid since 2015 when the previous generation Gixxer was entered as a semi-works effort run by Crescent Racing. However, when Crescent became the factory Yamaha representative, Suzuki quietly fell away from the grid with the faint promise it would return with the new GSX-R.
However, like Aprilia, Suzuki’s attentions were being consumed by its renewed MotoGP effort, leaving little inclination to go back to WorldSBK with another pricey programme.
That’s not to say it didn’t try though, with sources suggesting Suzuki had campaigned Hawk Racing – which runs Suzuki’s BSB effort – to step up to WorldSBK with Bradley Ray, a rider it saw had great potential as a protégé following his run to the Title Showdown in 2018. The deal never came off (potentially to Ray’s detriment based on his troubled 2019 campaign) but it would have been a big ask either way.