7 August 2013
Suzuki tries chassis changes in latest MotoGP test
"We found a good direction with one of the chassis configurations we had available" - Randy de Puniet.
Suzuki continued preparations for its 2015 MotoGP return by joining test teams from Honda and Yamaha at Motegi this week.
Tuesday was hampered by poor weather, but conditions improved for the second and final day.
Suzuki test rider and Aspar MotoGP racer Randy de Puniet suffered two small crashes on Wednesday morning, but was back on track in the afternoon where he evaluated two new chassis configurations.
One of these has now been selected for further development, due to enhanced edge grip and stability.
According to Suzuki, de Puniet's best lap time was a '1m 48.60s, 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'.
The other riders present included retired double champion Casey Stoner, taking part in his first 2013 test for Honda. The Motegi race lap record is a 1m 45.589s, set by Stoner's Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa during last year's Japanese Grand Prix.
"In this test we were not so lucky with the weather, as yesterday we stayed in the pit all day," said de Puniet. "Also, the track was slippery and very hot today, so the grip wasn't very good, but 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 was joined by factory test rider Nobuatsu Aoki, who completed five evaluation laps towards the end of Wednesday's session.
"Today was another good day in our development programme," stated Suzuki MotoGP Test Team manager Davide Brivio. "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."
Suzuki will be next on track during the official post-race test at Misano from September 16-18th.
At present, Suzuki's new inline four-cylinder machine is still running Mitsubishi electronics. However - like all the factory entries - Suzuki will need to switch to the new Magneti-Marelli control ECU hardware, compulsory from 2014.
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