Following on from one of Suzukis greatest performances for some time, Alvaro Bautista’s Seventh place at the last round in Germany. I thought I would take a bit of time to talk about Suzuki as a moto gp team, and their history.
Many may be familiar with the performances of Kevin Schwantz, 1993 500cc world champion aboard the Lucky Strike Suzuki. Schwantz in that era was up against stiff competition, from rival manufacturors and riders. The likes of Doohan, Rainey and many up and coming talents. With Rainey out due to an accident (now a paraplegic) the championship was made a bitter sweet victory.
After this championship, it would be sometime before Hondas six year championship winning streak, painstakingly created by Doohan and later Crivillé would be broke. It was to be broken by the highly anticipated Kenny Roberts Jr, the son of motorcycle racing ledgend Kenny Roberts Sr. In 2000, amonst much hype of a return to 4-stroke motorcycles, Kenny Roberts Jr was able to put the trophy back in Suzukis cabinet, this would be short lived. Replaced later by Chris Vermulen, who’s performances would show true moments of ability, plagued by a poor bike and bad racing luck to fade away into a second wind of world superbike racing.
Bautista appears to be Suzukis greatest chance at a podium any time soon, noting their decision to run a one bike team for 2011. With the success of Honda and Yamaha, it certainly remains a difficult task, more difficult than ever.