All MotoGP Teams Use Ohlins Suspensions, but the Monopoly Won't Last

Repsol Honda MotoGP bike with Ohlins suspensions 1 photo
Photo: Repsol Honda
It's been some time since we had such uniformity in the premier class, at least as far as suspensions go. This season, Swedish manufacturer Ohlins will be the only name on the grid, with the only two teams that were using Showa during the last years gone or changing their hardware.
The last team to field a full rider line-up racing with Showa suspensions was Gresini, but that happened back in 2014. With energy drinks sponsor GO&FUN pulling out of MotoGP, the team led by Fausto Gresini failed to secure the funds needed to pay for Honda's satellite machine, and was forced to choose other bikes.

In 2015, Team Gresini used Aprilia machinery for both Stefan Bradl and Alvaro Bautista, and they will carry on the contract with the house of Noale in 2016.

Cardion AB has left the (MotoGP) building

Last year, Cardion AB used a Honda production racer that was equipped with Showa suspensions. However, the Czech team put an end to their foray in MotoGP, after a couple of years that saw their team's rider Karel Abraha, whose father owns the Brno Circuit, spending more time off the track recovering from injuries than racing.

Cardion AB is out of the question as of 2016, because the team retired from MotoGP. Karel Abraham will try his hand in Superbike with Milwaukee BMW this year, and this marks the end of Showa suspensions in the premier class, at least for now.

Funny thing, Showa, who is owned by Honda, tried to convince HRC (among others) to use their suspensions, but to no avail. It looks like Ohlins' technology is too advanced in comparison with the Japanese makers, so the latter would better be back to the drawing board.

Even so, Ohlins' monopoly will be a short-lived one. In 2017, KTM will make their return to MotoGP with a full-factory team and two bikes manufactured entirely by the Austrians. This, obviously, includes using their own suspensions, supplied by Mattighofen's subsidiary, WP.

So we can rightfully say that Ohlins' monopoly will only last until Valencia this year, when KTM will have their bike entered as a wildcard. WP has been doing a great job in Moto2, with Johann Zarco winning the world title last year.

In Moto2, the balance favors WP, with 16 riders opting for the Austrians, versus 15 choosing the Swedes' hardware, and only two teams going for KYB. Remains to be seen whether WP will also make inroads in the premier class...
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