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This decision from Suzuki, who only returned to MotoGP in 2015, came completely out of the blue and left the team in shock.

Suzuki was set to issue a press release on the Tuesday confirming Motorsport.com's reports, but that was not forthcoming, likely as a result of a statement issued by Dorna Sports, which said the marque could not quit MotoGP on its own accord.

Breach of contract?

All manufacturers on the current grid are locked into a contract with Dorna to compete in MotoGP through to the end of 2026, with Suzuki's shock decision bringing with it legal and economic ramifications.

But, in a press release issued on Thursday ahead of the French Grand Prix, Suzuki confirmed financial pressures caused by the COVID pandemic and further hindered by the war in Ukraine has forced it into discussions with Dorna about quitting MotoGP.

"Suzuki Motor Corporation is in discussions with Dorna regarding the possibility of ending its participation in MotoGP at the end of 2022," the statement read.

"Unfortunately, the current economical situation and the need to concentrate its effort on the big changes that the automotive world is facing in these years, are forcing Suzuki to shift costs and human resources to develop new technologies.

"We would like to express our deepest gratitude to our Suzuki Ecstar Team, to all those who have supported Suzuki's motorcycle racing activities for many years and to all Suzuki fans who have given us their enthusiastic support."

Substitute?

Dorna revealed it has "high levels" of interest from independent teams and official factories to join MotoGP in Suzuki's absence, with Moto3 world champion squad Leopard telling Motorsport.com recently that it was be keen on taking Suzuki's place on the grid as an Aprilia customer.

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