Davide Brivio will start a new adventure in the Formula 1 this year, but what he’s done in a few years with Suzuki in the MotoGP will be remembered throughout history. In an interview with motogp.com, the Italian manager revealed many backstories to the path that led him to win the title with Mir last season.
It all started in 2012, with a message on Facebook.
“I had left Yamaha, worked for Valentino Rossi, and Sahara contacted me on Facebook,” Brivio said. “It was a very strange thing, because I have a Facebook profile, but I don’t use it. I had opened it and there was a message notification. It was Sahara who had asked me what intentions Valentino had for the future. He told me that they intended to return to the MotoGP in 2014 and if Valentino would be available to race with Suzuki. I told him about it, but he told me he wasn’t interested, he wanted to go back to Yamaha.”
But when one door closes, sometimes another one opens.
“I gave answer to Sahara, and he asked me if I was interested in the project if they were to created the team in Italy. I told him yes.”
Entering the MotoGP was postponed by a year, to 2015, and Suzuki started its youth project with Rins, but Dovizioso was also in their sights.
“We had chosen Aleix Espargarò because he was already an experienced and fast rider, and he would have helped us adjust the bike. For the second rider, we had our eyes on Vinales. I was in Qatar at his debut race in Moto2. I noticed that, in the last ten laps, he was the fastest, then he won in the second race in Austin. He was a special rider. We had also had negotiations with Dovizioso but, at the last minute, he decided to stay with Ducati,” David revealed.
Iannone and Rins arrived two years later.
“We had thought of replicating the Vinales project with Rins but, to do so, we had to sacrifice Zarco,” he explained. “In 2014, we started a youth program and wrote up a contract with Johann while he was still in the Moto2. In the end, we decided for Rins, and this drew a lot of criticism in 2017, because Zarco was strong in Tech3 while Alex was injured.”
Brivio made the winning decision in 2018, when he preferred Mir to Lorenzo.
“We had begun to think about trying another young rider after Vinales and Rins. I started thinking about Joan Mir, because it struck me that he had won the title in the Moto3 ten times but, in the meantime, Lorenzo had also joined,” David said. “We had to choose between Joan and Jorge, but it wasn’t so much a choice between riders as a philosophical choice on which path we wanted to take. The more I learned about Mir, the more special he seemed to me. They had explained that he had an option with Honda, but Joan told me he wanted to come to Suzuki.When he told me that, my eyes lit up. It was him.”
History proved he was right.