Marc VDS team manager Michael Bartholemy says he is happy with the shakedown performance of the much anticipated 1000cc Suter-BMW following three-days of trouble-free running at Jerez.
Swiss constructor Suter is planning a move to the MotoGP
class in 2012 when regulations will allow for a prototype chassis to be built around a 1000cc engine, with leading Moto2 team Marc VDS earmarked to front development of the machine.
With IDM Supersport rider Damian Cudlin and some time Moto2 racer Carmelo Morales taking to testing duties, the bike managed more than 100 laps without a single mechanical problem, even if the first and third days was hampered by rainy conditions.
Testing on Michelin tyres, though the bike was still lapping around three and a half seconds slower than the Ducati of Karel Abraham by the test's conclusion, Bartholemy was very pleased with the performance of the machine.
"For a first rollout of the new bike the test has been very successful,” he said. “The weather has been a problem, restricting us to just one day of dry testing, but we still managed to complete over 100 laps on the bike with no issues at all.
“The bike definitely has potential; we've seen that here in Jerez
this week. Now we need to sit down with Eskil Suter and his technical team to agree a development plan that will unlock this potential, starting at the next test in January.
“This is an exciting project and we are a part of it only because of the support of our President, Marc van der Straten, to whom I'd like to say a big thank you on behalf of the team."
His sentiments were echoed by Cudlin, who was delighted to be given the responsibility of riding the BMW-engined bike for the first time.
"Not many people get to ride a MotoGP
bike, especially a prototype bike for 2012 like this one; it's pretty cool and it's been heaps of fun! We've learnt a whole lot about the bike and, while there's still a lot more to learn, the potential is definitely there.