Apparently, the contract with Repsol Honda manager Alberto Puch may be terminated either at the end of 2022 or at the end of 2023: sources in the MotoGP paddock reported that Tetsuhiro Kuwata (HRC director responsible for the Grand Prix project) sent a message to the ex-manager of Team Suzuki Ecstar Davide Brivio, in which he asked his about the meeting.
There is no super-big sensation in this. For the last 5 years, HRC and specifically Repsol Honda have been focused on the purely sporting aspect, while engineers in Japan have been developing a motorcycle – independently and quite detached from the real situation on the track. Which ultimately affected the results after 2020.
Now the project needs an ultra-communicative manager who could unite teams, pilots, and engineers, to become the core of the project.
Marc Marquez addressed HRC with a direct message: the project in MotoGP should be transformed according to the European scheme, where R&D and Race Operations are a single, inseparable whole, and leading developers are constantly in the paddock, as it was at Honda in 2010-2014. But then the “Japanese style” of complete separation of operations prevailed due to lockdown and a sharp reduction in the ability to move large groups of specialists.
Alberto Puig as a sports manager is an ideal character, but now HRC requires a person with unique communication abilities that Alberto obviously does not have.
The former HRC manager, who worked as a director of Repsol Honda before Puig – Livio Suppo, who took over as manager of Team Suzuki Ecstar, will also be released after the end of the 2022 season. But his return to the Honda structure, which he left in 2018 after almost 8 years of cooperation, is not expected. And Livio has fewer talents for connections within the team than Davide Brivio.