Randy de Puniet feels Suzuki's new MotoGP racer has 'really good potential' after the French rider set a best lap time only three-quarters-of-a-second slower than Jorge Lorenzo at the Catalunya test.
The Frenchman lapped in a time of 1m 42.676s on the as yet unnamed inline four-cylinder machine, which was good enough for eighth place out of the 19 riders present.
Afterwards, de Puniet told a press gathering at the Spanish circuit he had yet to 'push the limits' or 'find any problems' with the machine, which was making its public debut on Monday.
“We worked like we did in Motegi, step by step, and the base of the bike was quite good in the beginning,” said de Puniet, who has been signed to help with development of the Suzuki alongside his race commitments for the Aspar team.
“We needed to adjust the gearbox because it was the first time here, but I'm satisfied with the level of the bike and I didn't touch the limits again. That's why Aragon [later this week] will be a good test because we will have two full days. We only had one day here and we are already at a good base.
“I really hope to continue this work and to find some problems! Because at this moment I don't have any problems. I like the riding position and feel very comfortable on the bike. It is easy to do many consistent laps. The base of the bike is already at a high level and I like the front feeling, even if we need to work to gain some corner speed.
“We need to adjust the traction control, like everybody, but like I said the base is at a high level. We never had any technical problems and the bike never stopped on the track and this is good.
“There is more power [than his Aspar CRT] and when you pick up the bike you feel more power and this is better for my riding style. I will try to follow someone in Aragon to have a better idea about the performance of the engine,” he added. “I like the power delivery. It feels like a real prototype engine.”
de Puniet likened the performance of the new 1000cc machine to Suzuki's previous 800cc bike, which he rode at the 2011 Valencia test - just before Suzuki confirmed its MotoGP ithdraw.
“This engine is smoother. The 800 was more aggressive. The riding position and the frame is very close [to the previous Suzuki],” he said. “The 800 was very good and I think they took the good points and used them on this bike.
“The lap time today is not bad and for me to jump onto the Suzuki from the CRT I need some time to adapt my riding style, but I think this bike has a really good potential.”
On Monday morning Suzuki officially confirmed that it will return to MotoGP - but not until 2015.Don't miss out! The next round of the 2013 MotoGP World Championship takes place at Assen on June 27-29 - CLICK HERE to see ticket prices from the Official MotoGP Ticket Store.