Randy DePuniet on the new Suzuki inline-four 1000cc prototype as it makes its European test debut at Catalunya.  Photography by Gold   Goose.

Although it was announced this weekend at the Grand Prix of Catalunya that Suzuki’s much-anticipated return to MotoGP will have to wait until 2015, the team was on hand today at the Spanish circuit to test the new 1000cc in-line four prototype – and were able to see just how the new bike stacked up against the rest.

Turns out, it stacked up rather well.

With Randy de Puniet on loan from the Power Electronics Aspar team for the test and joined by Suzuki test rider  Nobuatsu Aoki, the Frenchman put in 73 laps and his best was just .772 of a second behind Jorge Lorenzo. Lorenzo won yesterday’s Grand Prix and ended today’s first day of the two-day test with the fastest time.

"I am satisfied because the first test at Motegi was quite good and now we are at a GP track, with most of the other riders and running in the same conditions," de Puniet said. "I think we did a great job because I’m only seven tenths slower than the best lap time today and after only 50 or 60 laps; all of the other riders have already been here for three days. I am satisfied, but think we could be even faster if we had one more day.”

The team is being managed by Davide Brivio, Valentino Rossi’s manager.

Although De Puniet doesn’t get another day at Catalunya, he and the rest of the Suzuki test team will head to Aragon for a two-day test starting on Wednesday. They will be sharing the track with the Repsol Honda, factory Yamaha and LCR Honda teams.

 

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