Back in July, 2022, Suzuki Motor Corporation dropped a shock announcement on the motorsport world. It said that at the end of 2022, it would completely pull its efforts from motorcycle racing, in all its forms. Recent championships, while great at the time, seemed to have no bearing on this outcome. The end, Suzuki said, was nigh—but thanks for all the memories. 

It’s now December 16, 2022—and we’re about two weeks away (give or take) from when Suzuki also said it would be shutting down all of its official motorsport-related web presences at the end of the year. But wait, not so fast! It appears that someone at Yoshimura SERT Motul was incredibly good this year, and Santa Suzuki has brought them a holiday miracle. (Let’s not forget that “SERT,” incidentally, stands for “Suzuki Endurance Racing Team,” so it’s right there in the acronym.) 

Today, the Yoshimura Suzuki Endurance Racing Team Motul officially announced that it will, in fact, be contesting the FIM Endurance World Championship in 2023. Rumors of its demise, it seems, have been greatly exaggerated—even if they originated with Suzuki’s official announcement

We are, after all, talking about Yoshimura—a company with which Suzuki has had a good working relationship since 1976. Together, Yoshimura and Suzuki won the very first Suzuka 8 Hours competition in 1978. As Yoshimura SERT, the team has taken a completely unmatched 17 world titles in FIM endurance racing—and was in contention to take an 18th in 2022, although it didn’t work out in their favor in the end.  

The Franco-Japanese Yoshimura SERT Motul team has, it says, reorganized ahead of 2023, and has every intention of going for the EWC championship once more, aboard the Suzuki GSX-R1000R. The 2023 FIM EWC calendar starts on April 15 and 16 at the Circuit Bugatti in France, then moves to Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium on June 17 and 18 for round two. Round three will be the Suzuka 8 Hours on August 6, and round four—the season finale—will be held on September 16 and 17 at the Circuit Paul Ricard in France. 

“I am very delighted to say that Yoshimura SERT Motul will participate in the FIM Endurance World Championship in 2023. The statement from Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC) of ending its factory participation in MotoGP and EWC at the end of 2022. was of course very difficult to digest. However, we accepted the situation and set our mind in putting new plans for the EWC 2023 season,” Yoshimura SERT Motul team director Yohei Kato said in a statement. 

“Thanks to SMC’s understanding and decision for the new team’s support, we will continue to represent Suzuki at the highest level. We are fully committed to reclaim the EWC title in 2023. Taking this opportunity, we thank all of our sponsors including Motul and Denso, partner companies and fans for supporting us for many years. Voices not only from them but also from our team members themselves longing for the EWC participation made it possible,” he continued. 

“In the 2022 season, we were leading the championship until the last race of the season, but unexpected problems prevented us from defending our title. We will continue to move forward with the excellent Yoshimura SERT Motul riders and team members. Our goal is to win all races in 2023, and particularly look forward to the challenge of winning the 24-Heures Motos at Le Mans for the third consecutive year,” Kato concluded. 

“It is with great pleasure that, together with Yohei, we can confirm that the Yoshimura SERT Motul partnership is renewed for 2023. We will be running our Suzuki GSX-R1000R in red and blue livery to symbolize our association with both Yoshimura and Suzuki for the third year. We’ll also run with the traditional number 12 plate when we return to the track next April,” team manager Damien Saulnier said in the same statement. 

“Despite the withdrawal of Suzuki from the official competition, we are still getting significant support from them as we continue to represent the brand in this important world championship. We will do our best to reward such confidence and return the Japanese manufacturer to the top step of the EWC podium in 2023,” he continued. 

“We are also very grateful to our longstanding partners, as well as new ones, for standing by us and backing us for the new season. With their help, we can concentrate on the job in hand, power on and be ready to reconquer the title. We look forward to welcoming our many fans and supporters to the opening round of EWC at Le Mans next April,” Saulnier concluded. 

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