Suzuki’s longest serving grand prix team-member, crew chief Stuart Shenton, has left the squad after an amazing 19-year career with the Japanese marque.
Shenton and Suzuki parted company following the final race of the season at Valencia, after Suzuki confirmed its plans to field just one rider in next season’s MotoGP World Championship.
The massively experienced Englishman began work in the motorcycle GP paddock in 1976 with Kawasaki, before moving to Honda in 1983.
Shenton joined Suzuki in 1992 and has been chief engineer for many great Suzuki riders including, Kevin Schwantz, Sete Gibernau, John Hopkins, Loris Capirossi and numerous others in his illustrious career.
“I want to wish Stuart all the best and thank him from the bottom of my heart for everything he has done for Suzuki,” said Suzuki MotoGP project leader Shinichi Sahara. “He has always been so hard-working and striving for the best result.
“He is one of the most methodical men I have worked with in motorcycle racing and the team will greatly miss his experience and drive to get things done. I also want to pass on my best wishes on behalf of Suzuki to the other guys that have left the team.
“It is very unfortunate – and sad – to say goodbye, but I hope they will always remain friends and that we have the chance to work together again in the near future.”
Due to Suzuki’s decision to operate a one-man team next season, several other members of the crew will join Shenton in leaving the squad.
George Dziedzic, Richard Francis, Jeffrey Oh, Tsutomu Matsugano, Renato Pennacchio and Erkki Siukola will all be on the hunt for work following the re-structure for 2011.
Suzuki Motor Corporation has publicly thanked all of the departing crew-members for their years of service and wished all their ex-teammates well in their new careers.