(Reuters) - Honda announced the departure of MotoGP team principal Livio Suppo on Monday, a day after Spaniard Marc Marquez secured his fourth top-flight world championship in five years.
The 53-year-old Italian, who joined the Repsol Honda team from Ducati in 2010 and assumed the principal role in 2013, said he needed a change and was leaving the sport with a year to run on his contract.
“After 22 seasons in the motorcycle racing world, I feel that it is time for me to look for new challenges,” he said in a Honda statement.
“I leave HRC (Honda Racing Corporation) knowing that in 2018 they will be competitive, because Marc and Dani (Pedrosa) are very strong and the engineers will as always prepare a good package for them to fight for the championship again.”
Suppo oversaw five MotoGP titles in his time at Honda’s works team, with Australian Casey Stoner winning in 2011. Stoner also won the championship at Ducati in 2007, when Suppo was in charge there.
Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Ken Ferris