THE world’s media turned its attention to Suzuki on Monday 17th June when the Japanese manufacturer confirmed that it would once again contend the MotoGP World Championship in 2015. The announcement came on the same day as the manufacturer launched its GSV-R machine at the official MotoGP test in Catalunya.
Suzuki last competed in the pinnacle of motorcycle road racing in 2011 and decided to leave the sport due to budgetary reasons but with a number or recent rule changes making the sport somewhat more affordable the Japanese manufacturer has decided to return but will take another year to allow more time to set its bike up. Along with the Catalunya test, the team will also test alongside Honda, Yamaha and Ducati at Motorland, Argon today (Wednesday) and Thursday this week.
The new machine has been under test conditions for some time now in Japan with test rider Nobuatsu Aoki at the helm with De Puniet also getting a previous run out with the machine. The first day of the Suzuki test in Catalunya was promising with De Puniet lapping under 1s behind front man Jorge Lorenzo on his championship winning YZR-M1. The Suzuki team has claimed five world championships since entering top-flight motorcycle racing with Barry Sheene winning in 1976 and 1977; Marco Lucchinelli in 1981; Franco Uncini in 1982; Kevin Schwantz in 1993 and Kenny Roberts Jr in 2000.
The following is the original press statement that was released by Suzuki on Monday:
After two years suspension since 2012, Suzuki Motor Corporation has organised its test team to undergo more practical running tests at its advanced development stage and will participate in the official joint testing to be held at the Catalunya circuit in Spain. Through continuing running tests at the circuits inside and outside Japan for further development and refinement, Suzuki Motor Corporation will participate again in MotoGP racing from 2015. Suzuki Motor Corporation will feed back advanced technology to be derived through MotoGP racing activity to develop further attractive production models.
The outline of testing team and racing machine to be developed are as follows: Chief members of Europe testing team in 2013:
- Team manager: Davide Brivio - Development rider: Randy de Puniet
MotoGP machine to be developed: - 1000cc In-line four GP racer