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Le Mans: de Puniet heads for Suzuki MotoGP test
20 May 2013
Randy de Puniet will test Suzuki's new MotoGP machine for the first time, at Motegi in Japan this week.
The Frenchman has long been linked as a test rider for the factory's planned 2014 return and, speaking to the official MotoGP website on Sunday at Le Mans, declared:
“We leave tomorrow to Japan to test with Suzuki at Motegi... That will be a good experience and I hope to do a great job.”
It won't be the first time that de Puniet has tested a Suzuki, having ridden the 800cc GSV-R at Valencia in 2011, just before the factory's MotoGP withdraw was confirmed.
Suzuki will take to the track alongside its MotoGP rivals for the first time since 2011 in next month's post-race Barcelona test.
Details of the project are yet to be officially announced, but leaks suggest an Inline rather than V4 engine and that former Yamaha team manager Davide Brivio will run the team. As well as de Puniet, Cal Crutchlow and Ben Spies have been touted as potential 2014 race riders.
By testing at Motegi, Suzuki and de Puniet - who currently races privateer CRT machinery for Aspar - will be able to accurately compare their performance with the 1000cc lap times set during last season's Japanese Grand Prix.