Suzuki MotoGP Testing
The Suzuki MotoGP Test Team had its second shakedown this week of its inline-four 1000cc prototype at Twin Ring Motegi in Japan.
With Suzuki test rider and current Power Electronics Aspar CRT rider Randy de Puniet at the controls of the 1000cc inline-four prototype, the team, headed by Davide Brivio, former manager of Valentino Rossi, successfully completed the two day test.
Tuesday’s sessions were halted by rain, but the Suzuki MotoGP Test Team was met with clear skies on Wednesday. De Puniet suffered two small crashes in the morning sessions, but was back on the circuit in the afternoon.
During this time, De Puniet was able to test new chassis configurations on the prototype for Suzuki, which will make its return to MotoGP in 2014 following a two-year hiatus. Suzuki plans to further test the chassis at Misano in Italy Sept. 16-18, hoping to obtain further grip and stability.
De Puniet’s best lap time Wednesday was a 1:48.60, which was slower than his previous test times at Motegi, though consistent with the other test teams such as HRC Honda (Casey Stoner) at the slippery circuit due to hot conditions. De Puniet was also joined by Suzuki MotoGP test rider Nobuatsu Aoki, who completed five evaluation laps on Wednesday.
Randy De Puniet says: “In this test we were not so lucky with the weather, as yesterday we stayed in the pit all day. Also, the track was slippery and very hot today, so the grip wasn’t very good, but we found a good direction with one of the chassis configurations we had available.
“I found one with better tyre contact feeling and better for corner-entry, so we will continue with this in Misano next month. The rain came before the end of the test and I couldn’t try to improve my lap time, but overall we are very satisfied.”
Davide Brivio (Suzuki MotoGP Test Team Manager) says: “Today was another good day in our development program. We had a chance to try different tests with various settings and we tried to better-understand the bike’s behaviour in different conditions.
“Despite difficult weather conditions, we had a chance to choose one of the two frames available, which we will carry on to develop further in future tests. In the meantime, our engineers have taken some good information away with them for the next stage of development.”
Suzuki entered the Grand Prix Championship in 1974 with Barry Sheene at the controls of the RG500. The manufacturer has six titles through its final year in 2011, including 1976 and 1977 with Barry Sheene, 1981 with Marco Lucchinelli, 1982 with Franco Uncini, 1993 with Kevin Schwantz and 2000 with Kenny Roberts Jr.
The last year Suzuki competed was in 2011 with Alvaro Bautista aboard the Rizla Suzuki GSV-R; that year, the Spaniard finished 13th overall.