It has emerged that Suzuki will take part in 5 tests this year as a run up to its full time return to the MotoGP series from 2014 onwards. Three of these tests will be along with the other factories i.e Honda, Yamaha and Ducati. There will be two private tests as well. The three tests with the other factories will be at Barcelona post the Grand Prix of Catalunya, then at Misano and finally after the season draws to a close at Valencia. These will be interspersed with private tests at Motorland Aragon and at Mugello. Apart from these European tests, the factory will continue testing in Japan to evaluate the progress on the MotoGP machine with its tester Nobuatsu Aoki.
This news about Suzuki’s activity was revealed by Aoki who was present at Sepang II to evaluate the performance of the other factories including Honda, Yamaha and Ducati. Aoki was there to see the performance of the electronics and the new generation Bridgestone tyres. Aoki also said that the new Suzuki machine had already exceeded his expectations but still there was a lot of work to be done to catch up with the other factories, a task which has become even more difficult due to the fact that Suzuki has been out for two full seasons. Aoki was however hopeful that Suzuki would be in a position to close the gap and the 5 European tests would allow the factory to bench mark itself against the opposition that it will have in 2014. However, so far there has been no approval for Suzuki’s re-entry into MotoGP from its board. Aoki has said that the approval will depend upon how the machine progresses in tests in Japan. So far no official spokesperson of the factory has not said anything about Suzuki’s participation in MotoGP from 2014.
Aoki has mentioned that a European rider will also be part of the two bike test team in the European tests. While Aoki did not reveal any hints at who the rider would be, it is being assumed that it would be Randy De Puniet, who had tested the 800 cc Suzuki machine towards the end of the 2011 season and Suzuki was quite happy with the way he performed in the test. But all this is still very firmly in the realm of speculation.