Suzuki has won the 2020 MotoGP world championship, with Joan Mir crowned champion after finishing seventh at the penultimate round of the season at Valencia.
Mir becomes the sixth rider to win the biggest prize in motorcycle racing with Suzuki, after Britain’s Barry Sheene first took the premier class world title for the Japanese manufacturer in 1976.
The 23-year-old Spaniard is in only his second season in MotoGP, after joining Suzuki for the 2019 season. He showed impressive pace in his rookie year, but allied to his unwavering consistency in 2020 - despite a rocky start that saw two crashes in three races - that pace saw him finish on the podium seven times in nine races on his way to the title.
Victory last weekend gave him a 37-point championship lead going into the penultimate round of the year, and despite qualifying in 12th the youngster kept his composure to pick up a number of places to score enough points to be crowned champion, finishing seventh.
Suzuki, the smallest of the Japanese factories in MotoGP, has consistently punched above its weight in Grand Prix racing. The brand took back-to-back titles with Sheene in 1976 and 1977, with the Briton winning 11 races across both seasons. Two more back-to-back titles followed in 1981 and 1982, with Italians Marco Lucchinelli and Franco Uncini winning a championship each.
Charismatic American Kevin Schwantz lifted the gong in 1993, before his compatriot Kenny Roberts Jr. was crowned champion in 2000, Suzuki’s last premier class title.
Suzuki took a sabbatical from Grand Prix racing after the 2011 season, returning with an all-new machine in 2015. Just six seasons later - and in a year that marks the 100th anniversary of Suzuki Motor Corporation - Joan Mir joins an exclusive list of riders to have taken motorcycling’s biggest prize.
Joan Mir, "World Champion: it sounds amazing. It’s really hard to find the words at the moment, but I must say thank you to so many people; to Suzuki for this opportunity, I’m so happy to give them a title. To be the person who brings them another crown after 20 years is an unbelievable feeling and a true honour.
Team Suzuki Ecstar - the official factory racing team of Suzuki Motor Corporation - also wrapped up MotoGP's team championship, thanks to the strong efforts of Mir and his teammate, Alex Rins.
Toshihiro Suzuki, president of Suzuki Motor Corporation, comments, "I would like to congratulate and express my gratitude to Team Suzuki Ecstar and Joan Mir for winning the MotoGP world championship in such an unprecedented and tough season due to the Covid-19 situation in 2020. Also to Alex Rins, who has put together an extraordinary championship, being still in the fight for second place.
"This is Suzuki’s 100th anniversary and in this memorable year, we won the MotoGP championship, which is the world's highest series of motorcycle racing. I would like to thank all the customers, fans and dealers who always encourage and support Suzuki.
"Since returning to MotoGP, I am very proud of the team that has overcome various hardships, made steady progress year by year, and finally became the champions."
The Suzuki Brand – It started with a Loom.
As Suzuki celebrates its 100th year, it’s worth taking a brief look back at where it all began from textiles and how the core DNA and ‘Kaizen’ principle of continuous improvement in engineering and Customer Satisfaction runs through the company across all of its products of Car, Motorcycle, Outboard Marine Engines and ATV’s.
The Japanese art of craftsmanship or ‘Monozukuri’ which denotes ‘smaller, fewer, lighter, shorter and neater’ is applied to not only its products but also its plants around the world to eliminate unnecessary waste, maintain high quality and manufacture efficiently.
A decade before Suzuki was officially formed, founder Michio Suzuki pioneered a new type of textile loom design after watching his Mother using her labour intensive and primitive device at home to weave cloth. Michio’s ground-breaking design principle meant that his Mother could work at 10 times the speed as before and with a lot less fatigue too with its unique thread loading shuttle system.
Michio Suzuki began selling his patented design to local people and his company grew rapidly with a loom that customers could fully depend on for reliability and ease of use. It was when the Cotton industry crashed in 1951 that Suzuki looked to then diversify his skills into transport.
Riding his pedal cycle in strong head winds one day, Michio’s son Kunzo Suzuki realised he could make his daily journey much easier by designing his own simple motor assisted cycle and with his R&D team demonstrated the ‘Power Free’ 36cc motorcycle which became the brain child for the launch of the global Suzuki Motorcycle brand from 1953.
After initial R&D before the outbreak of World War two, Suzuki’s first car emerged in 1955 with lightweight and innovative design and a two-stroke 360cc engine. Known as the Suzulight, it was developed by a team of just six people. It was the first car to utilise coil spring independent suspension and rack and pinion steering and its popularity quickly grew with further models added by 1960. This year the brand also celebrates the 50th Anniversary of its 4x4 models since the launch of its lightweight and ‘go anywhere’ LJ10 Jimny. Today, every model in the range has 4x4 capability which is unique in the industry.
On water, the first Outboard motor was launched in 1965 with a one cylinder, 5.5hp engine. Today, more than 25 different types are offered, ranging from the DF2.5 right up to DF350 with its 3.4-litre V6 engine offering 300hp. Suzuki recently launched a ground-breaking micro plastic collecting device for its engines which has the ability to finely filter and clean sea water as it travels along whilst cooling the engine at the same time, essentially reducing damage to the environment and helping protect sea life.
The first Suzuki ATV or Quad Bike was launched in 1982 and Today with a product range of Five models available in the UK it proves an invaluable working tool to Farmers and Businesses working in rural and remote communities.
Whichever Suzuki product is chosen, the highest levels of Customer Satisfaction are ensured. This was demonstrated with J.D. Power and Associates naming Suzuki as the highest ranked Automotive volume brand for overall customer service satisfaction in their 2019 UK Customer Service Index StudySM with a score of 813 points out of a possible 1,000. This score was significantly above the volume brand average of 786 and notably just two points behind the winner of the Premium Brands section of the study.
Suzuki improved by 22 points which continues to reinforce the commitment of its UK dealer network to overall customer satisfaction. The CSI Study is a comprehensive analysis of vehicle service experience and is conducted by J.D. Power in 16 countries worldwide, providing detailed after-sales solutions for both manufacturers and dealerships.
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