Crash.Net MotoGP News

Suzuki plans Barcelona MotoGP test return

26 February 2013

Suzuki will pit its new MotoGP machine against the current premier-class grid during the Catalunya post-race test.

The mid-June date will mark the first time that Suzuki has gone up against Honda, Yamaha and Ducati since Valencia 2011, just before Suzuki announced its withdraw from MotoGP due to the financial crisis.

Suzuki is planning to return to MotoGP, with a redesigned bike to suit the new 1000cc rules, for the 2014 season.

Factory test rider and former grand prix winner Nobuatsu Aoki visited Sepang on Tuesday to observe the ongoing MotoGP test for Suzuki (pictured), where he gave Crash.net an update on Suzuki's plans.

"We are on schedule," began Aoki. "We launched a new version of the bike last week which performed pretty well.

"We're happy with the chassis and engine, but we still need to improve many small things.

"We've been testing at Motegi [home of the Japanese MotoGP] and almost every week at the private Suzuki test track.

"The plan is to take part in the Barcelona post-race test, alongside the other teams. I will be riding at the test and also one European rider."

Aoki declined to name the 'European rider', or the potential team manager to run the new Suzuki project.

Aoki did confirm that Suzuki's plan is for a two-rider factory entry, running under the full MSMA rules - including using its own ECU software - alongside Honda, Yamaha and Ducati.

Dorna has indicated that Suzuki will need to source its grid places from an existing team.