According to multiple reports, MotoGP’s resident Frenchman has been linked to Suzuki GP effort, which is expected to field a two-rider team in the premier class for 2014 season. Confirming with MCN that talks have been underway regarding Suzuki and the 2014 revival, De Puniet cautioned that nothing has been confirmed or signed just yet.
Missing out on the top CRT title this last season, De Puniet is contracted for another year with the Team Aspar effort in MotoGP, which will again use the Aprilia ART platform. Team Aspar has been the spearhead for Aprilia’s CRT package, which continues to show strong promise, and even challenged the full-prototype machines at a number of the less horsepower intense tracks, like Phillip Island.
Aspar Team Principal Jorge Martinez has reported given De Puniet his blessing to do double-duties with Suzuki.
There are still a number of question marks regarding Suzuki’s 2014 return, with reports ranging in a debate about whether the team will use an inline-four machine, similar to the Suzuki GSX-R1000, or a V4 machine like the previous GSV-R GP race bikes. Other reports range from whether Suzuki will return at all to GP racing, or if the Japanese manufacturer will field some wild card rides in 2013, in order to benchmark the team’s progress for its return in 2014 (Ben Spies was linked to such a ride).
Dorna has told the Japanese company that if it does return to MotoGP racing, it will have to commit to racing in the series through the 2016 season, putting Suzuki’s contract with Dorna in line with the contracts signed with the other manufacturers. With American Suzuki filing bankruptcy, and with Suzuki in Japan embroiled in buying its stock back from Volkswagen, it would seem any of the possibilities are exactly that: possible. Stay tuned.