Suzuki’s return to the MotoGP Championship continues to gain steam, as the Japanese company has submitted a request to Dorna for testing during the 2013 season. Talking to BBC Sport, Dorna’s Carmelo Ezpeleta said “[Suzuki] are asking us to have some testing during the 2013 season and if everything goes well maybe we will see them in 2014.”
Suzuki is said to be looking to test its GP race bike with the MotoGP field, and perhaps even run a few wild cards in 2013, before launching a full program the following year. Many names have been linked to the Suzuki project, with Randy de Puniet the lastest MotoGP rider to be associated with the team, and tipped to be Suzuki’s test rider.
Aspar Team Principal Jorge Martinez has reported given De Puniet his blessing to do double-duties with Suzuki, though it is not clear how RdP would handle a wild card entry with Suzuki, should things get that far (news of a contract has yet to come to fruition).
Suzuki is reported to be working on a inline-four GP bike, which will draw a closer link to the company’s GSX-R sport bike range. However, it is not clear if Suzuki has committed to the inline-four motor, or if the Japanese company was testing the engine configuration against its current V4-powered Suzuki GSV-R race bike.
Before Suzuki can return to MotoGP though, Suzuki must convince Carmelo Ezpeleta that it is fielding a competitive entry, as Dorna seems to be taking the quality over quantity approach with the factory prototypes. A return of Suzuki to the grid would mean four manufacturers in MotoGP, the same number as in Formula One, which Ezpeleta is keen to point out.
By requesting to test with the MotoGP field, Suzuki is sending a signal that it has achieved as much as it can from testing by itself. Ready to compare its progress against the other factories, testing events and wild card rides in 2013 must surely be seen internally as the next step necessary in progressing the Suzuki GP project to the next level, before the team goes racing in 2014. Good stuff.
Source: BBC Sport