Suzuki Joins Catalunya MotoGP Test; Lorenzo Leads

Suzuki Test Team's Randy de Puniet

2013 Catalunya MotoGP Official Test

Following the Grand Prix of Catalunya, the MotoGP grid remained in Spain for an official test at the 2.937-mile circuit containing 13 corners.

The session was highlighted by the return of Suzuki machinery, as the official test team, headed by Valentino Rossi's former manager Davide Brivio, made its European debut.

Suzuki, which will return to MotoGP in 2015, fielded a 1,000cc inline-four prototype with official Suzuki test rider Nobuatsu Aoki and, later in the session, former Rizla Suzuki GSV-R rider Randy de Puniet.

Under colder conditions than Sunday's MotoGP round, de Puniet quickly got the Suzuki prototype up to speed. The Frenchman, who currently rides for the Power Electronics Aspar CRT team, and DNF'd Sunday at Catalunya due to mechanical issues, posted the eighth quickest time.

De Puniet put in 73 laps on the Suzuki with no issues. He lapped the circuit at 1:42.676, and trailed the leader by 0.772 of a second.

And the leader was no surprise, considering he dominated the round on Sunday - Yamaha Factory Racing's Jorge Lorenzo. The Spaniard, and reigning MotoGP Champion, posted a 1:41.904 on his 45th of 54 laps. To put this time into perspective, Lorenzo was only 0.011 of a second slower than Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa's record pole time set on Saturday.

During the test, Lorenzo experimented with a new fuel tank. As for his teammate, nine-time World Champion Rossi, the Italian worked on getting better front-end feeling aboard the YZR-M1. Rossi finished sixth fastest, 0.609 of a second off his teammate.

Ducati Team's Nicky Hayden ran back-to-back comparisons between his GP13 and GP13 "lab" bike, finishing second, 0.051 of a second behind Lorenzo. LCR Honda's Stefan Bradl was next, posting a best lap time that was 0.0323 of a second slower than Lorenzo while dialing in the RC213V for front-end grip.

Hayden's teammate Andrea Dovizioso also did some back-to-back comparisons between the GP13 and GP13 "Lab" prototypes, as did the Pramac Racing outfit of Andrea Iannone and Ben Spies substitute, Michele Pirro.

Dovi would finish fourth quickest, just ahead of Monster Yamaha Tech 3's Cal Crutchlow, who crashed out of Sunday's GP.  The Brit sampled the Yamaha chassis evolution as tested by Lorenzo and Rossi in the post-race test at Jerez, while teammate Bradley Smith departed the circuit early in order to undergo a skin graft operation in Barcelona city centre.

As for Iannone and Pirro, they finished ninth and 11th, respectively.

Rossi, who crashed at the test causing a red flag, was sixth fastest, followed by the quickest CRT rider - Power Electronics Aspar's Aleix Espargaro. The Spaniard, who has been the top finisher in all six rounds so far in 2013 MotoGP, experimented with chassis and suspension setup aboard his Aprilia-powered Aspar.

MotoGP says for sole tire supplier Bridgestone, the order of the day was to test a new rear compound tire, although carrying out meaningful runs was a difficult task as teams were engrossed in their own programs. The new Hard compound is closer to the current Medium and designed to come into its own towards the end of races.

Next up is some testing Tuesday from the Repsol Honda team of Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa at Motorland Aragon. The Honda boys will be joined by Yamaha and Suzuki prototypes on Wednesday.

2013 Catalunya MotoGP Official Test Results (June 17):

Pos Rider Team Fastest lap Lead. Gap Prev. Gap Laps Last lap
1 LORENZO, Jorge Yamaha Factory Racing Team 1:41.904 45 / 54 1:53.362
2 HAYDEN, Nicky Ducati Team 1:41.955 0.051 0.051 71 / 73 4:27.603
3 BRADL, Stefan LCR Honda MotoGP 1:42.227 0.323 0.272 25 / 31 2:01.512
4 DOVIZIOSO, Andrea Ducati Team 1:42.417 0.513 0.190 23 / 56 1:48.568
5 CRUTCHLOW, Cal Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1:42.462 0.558 0.045 4 / 57 2:25.044
6 ROSSI, Valentino Yamaha Factory Racing Team 1:42.513 0.609 0.051 28 / 57 1:53.059
7 ESPARGARO, Aleix Power Electronics Aspar 1:42.537 0.633 0.024 57 / 63 2:30.581
8 DE PUNIET, Randy Suzuki Test Team 1:42.676 0.772 0.139 64 / 73 1:47.707
9 IANNONE, Andrea Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team 1:42.697 0.793 0.021 64 / 65 2:19.934
10 SMITH, Bradley Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1:43.180 1.276 0.483 14 / 25 1:54.015
11 PIRRO, Michele Ignite Pramac Racing 1:43.784 1.880 0.604 69 / 70 1:56.017
12 BARBERA, Hector Avintia Blusens 1:43.899 1.995 0.115 54 / 54 2:06.481
13 EDWARDS, Colin NGM Mobile Forward Racing 1:44.183 2.279 0.284 29 / 38 2:00.637
14 ABRAHAM, Karel Cardion AB Motoracing 1:44.458 2.554 0.275 56 / 61 2:33.175
15 PETRUCCI, Danilo Came IodaRacing Project 1:44.477 2.573 0.019 35 / 49 2:06.580
16 LAVERTY, Michael Paul Bird Motorsport 1:44.547 2.643 0.070 52 / 53 2:00.014
17 CORTI, Claudio NGM Mobile Forward Racing 1:44.794 2.890 0.247 48 / 56 2:31.590
18 HERNANDEZ, Yonny Paul Bird Motorsport 1:45.078 3.174 0.284 26 / 36 1:51.065
19 PESEK, Lukas Came IodaRacing Project 1:47.379 5.475 2.301 22 / 52 2:01.546


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