The Suzuki MotoGP team are one step closer to returning to racing following another successful outing with test rider Randy DePuniet at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit. Heavy rain on Tuesday morning halted work for all the teams until yesterday, when DePuniet was able to take to the track to complete and test a range of different components.
DePuniet, the test rider for the Suzuki MotoGP team, was a little disappointed in the weather which had an effect on grip, but was happy with the progress of the team, saying, “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.”
De Puniet’s best lap time on the Wednesday afternoon was 1’48:60, which was slightly slower than his previous test times at Motegi, but in-line with the other riders’ lap times in less-than grippy conditions and very hot conditions. De Puniet was also joined by Suzuki MotoGP Test rider Nobuatsu Aoki, who completed five evaluation laps towards the end of Wednesday’s session.
De Puniet suffered two small crashes in the morning session, but with only minor damage to the machine, he was back on track this afternoon, making important progress and successfully testing two new chassis configurations; one of which the team has chosen to develop further at the next Suzuki MotoGP tests in Italy at Misano next month to obtain more edge grip and stability.
The much anticipated return to MotoGP by Suzuki is being headed up by former Yamaha team manager Davide Brivio (who still manages Valentino Rossi). Brivio is also happy with the Suzuki progress, saying, “Today was another good day in our development programme. 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.”
The Team Suzuki MotoGP Test Team will be next on track at the official IRTA Tests at Misano on September 16-18th.
All images courtesy www.suzuki-racing.com