until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


Brivio set to depart F1 to become Honda's new MotoGP team boss

by Simon Patterson
3 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Alpine Formula 1's Davide Brivio is set to make a dramatic return to the 2024 MotoGP paddock, according to The Race’s sources, with the Italian’s long-rumoured deal to join the Repsol Honda team finally looking set to come to fruition as the latest step in HRC’s attempts to turn around its struggling MotoGP project.

Ex-Suzuki and Yamaha MotoGP team boss Brivio’s name has been linked to a move to Honda for some time, amid speculation that he has been unhappy with his role inside the Alpine F1 team, initially as racing director before moving to director of racing expansion projects.

But with the 2024 MotoGP season set to kick off next Tuesday with the first test, it seems that the rumour is now set to become something more concrete in the coming days.

According to German publication Speedweek.com, Brivio will replace current team boss Alberto Puig rather than joining the former Grand Prix racer within the team’s management structure, as part of the latest step in a dramatic reshuffling of Honda’s ranks after a dire four seasons that has seen the team win only three races since the end of 2019.

The first major change at Honda came one year ago, when veteran technical director Takeo Yokoyama was replaced by Ken Kawauchi, who worked closely with Brivio during his time at Suzuki from 2013 to 2020. HRC technical director Tetsuhiro Kuwata is also reported to be on his way out of the team in the coming weeks.

Head of communications Hector Martin and team coordinator Jose Manuel Escamez will join six-time world champion Marc Marquez in leaving the team at the end of this year, with Martin taking up a role at football team RCD Mallorca while Escamez will replace Leon Camier as the boss of Honda’s World Superbike team.

“I have a contract for 2024,” Puig told Speedweek when asked about the news. “You have to ask them up there,” he added, pointing towards the Japanese management offices in HRC’s truck in the Valencia paddock.

Brivio started out working in the World Superbike championship, rising to run Yamaha’s team there before transferring to the premier class in 2002 as MotoGP switched to four strokes. During his time there, he was instrumental in signing Valentino Rossi away from Repsol Honda, establishing a lifelong friendship with his fellow Italian as well as winning four titles together.

He then stepped down from Yamaha in 2010 when Rossi left for Ducati, becoming a consultant to Rossi’s then-burgeoning VR46 business interests.

He returned to racing full-time in 2013, joining Suzuki’s restarted MotoGP project and building a successful team from scratch to world champions, only to announce his move to F1 days after lifting the 2020 crown with Joan Mir.

He joined Alpine's F1 team as its racing director from 2021, before he was shuffled out to a wider racing role.

It’s believed by The Race’s sources that his move has been a key factor in drawing current VR46 Ducati rider Luca Marini to Repsol Honda for next year, news that initially came as a shock to the MotoGP paddock but which makes considerably more sense in the context of the arrival of Brivio.

The news of Marini’s imminent arrival to the team, though, still remains to be officially confirmed only four days before he’s scheduled to make his Repsol Honda debut at Tuesday’s test, despite now being an open secret in the paddock.

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