Suzuki’s MotoGP squad has confirmed the departure of team boss Davide Brivio, ahead of his imminent switch to the Alpine Formula 1 team.
As exclusively revealed by Autosport on Wednesday, Brivio is to make a surprise move to Alpine to become its CEO as part of a management restructure.
While Alpine’s parent company Renault has so far declined to comment on the situation, Suzuki announced on Thursday morning Brivio was leaving MotoGP.
Brivio helped lead Suzuki to its first MotoGP world titles in two decades last year, with the Japanese manufacturer winning the teams’ title and Joan Mir the riders’ crown.
Speaking about his decision, Brivio says leaving Suzuki and MotoGP had not been an easy call to make.
“A new professional challenge and opportunity suddenly came to me and in the end I decided to take it,” he said. “It has been a difficult decision.
“The hardest part will be to leave this fabulous group of people, whom I started this project with when Suzuki rejoined the championship.
“And it’s hard to say goodbye also to all the people who have arrived over the years to create this great team.
“I feel sad from this point of view, but at the same time I feel a lot of motivation for this new challenge – which was the key when I had to decide between renewing my contract with Suzuki or starting a completely new experience.”
Brivio’s move to Alpine has been engineered by Renault CEO Luca de Meo, who is pushing hard to reinvigorate the French car manufacturer’s many brands.
De Meo and Brivio got to know each other at Yamaha in MotoGP, where Brivio was team manager from 2002 until 2010.
Italian car maker Fiat was title sponsor of Yamaha from 2007 to 2010, when de Meo was the Italian car manufacturer’s chief marketing officer.
Brivio is set to take the CEO role at Alpine and work alongside new team principal Marcin Budkowski, although there has been no official announcement regarding these changes.
While Suzuki will have a huge hole to fill following the shock development, Brivio said he hoped the team could achieve more success in the future.
“Achieving a MotoGP title is something that will remain in the Suzuki history books and it will always have a special place in my life memories,” he added.
“Suzuki MotoGP, I hope that the results in the future will be better and better and I will always be a Suzuki fan. Thanks very much Suzuki.”