Randy de Puniet
Randy De Puniet is to make a return to racing full time. As had been rumored for some weeks now, the Frenchman is to make the switch to the World Superbike series, where he will join the Crescent Suzuki team for 2015. De Puniet will race alongside Alex Lowes next year, aboard the Suzuki GSX-R1000.
After losing his ride with the Aspar team at the end of 2013, De Puniet has spent 2014 as Suzuki's official test rider, helping to develop the bike now dubbed the GSX-RR. The only racing action he had seen was with the Yoshimura team during the Suzuka 8 Hour race, where he finished in second place with teammates Josh Waters and Takuya Tsuda. But De Puniet was keen to return to racing full time, and with no vacancies in MotoGP, the World Superbike series was the obvious choice. Racing with the Crescent team allows him to stay with Suzuki as a test rider, and retain his strong ties with the Japanese factories.
Alongside his duties in WSBK, De Puniet will continue development work on the Suzuki GSX-RR MotoGP machine, with a particular focus on 2016. De Puniet will mainly be working on getting the GSX-RR to work with the Michelin tires, due to replace Bridgestone at the start of the 2016 season. He will also be helping to make the bike work with the so-called unified software which is to be introduced at the same time.
The Suzuki MotoGP team issued the following press release after completing their three day test at Barcelona:
SUZUKI MOTOGP UPBEAT AFTER BARCELONA TEST
Team Suzuki Press Office – June 18.
The Suzuki MotoGP Test Team has completed a busy and positive three-days of testing at the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit in Spain today.
Test rider Randy De Puniet was joined by Takuya Tsuda for the official MotoGP test with the current series riders and teams; and then a private test today to evaluate several new revisions to the development 2015 Suzuki machine that included a new-specification engine, plus electronic ignition and chassis revisions.
With weather conditions fluctuating over the three-days, but averaging 25° Air/ 35° Track temperatures, De Puniet put-in his fastest lap on the opening day with a time of 1’43”683. Over the three days, he completed 200 laps of the 4.655 km, 16-corner circuit. Tsuda, who was supporting De Puniet and adding to the Suzuki MotoGP data-logging and evaluation of the new parts and settings at the event, completed a total of 103 laps.
After the MotoGP teams packed up and left Argentina to head to Jerez, Suzuki stayed on for three days of testing at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit. Unfortunately for Suzuki, it rained on all three days of the test, meaning the test was a washout. Randy De Puniet did not manage a single lap, while Nobu Aoki put in just 50 laps on a damp track.
Suzuki issued the following press release after the test:
Suzuki wrapped up their test at Austin on Wednesday, with Randy De Puniet concluding with a best lap of 2'05.85. Below is the press release they issued after the test:
SUZUKI MOTOGP CONCLUDES AUSTIN TEST
Team Suzuki Press Office – April 17.
The Suzuki MotoGP Test Team has concluded its Circuit of the Americas test at Austin in Texas after finding new direction and improvements to take to its next test in Argentina at the end of the month.
Test riders Randy De Puniet and Nobuatsu Aoki were again joined on-track by former World Champion Kevin Schwantz and shared the test with the Yoshimura Suzuki AMA Superbike team as track temperatures climbed to 39 degrees; slightly higher than the previous day, but not as high as the previous weekend’s MotoGP second round.
De Puniet completed a total of 62 laps of the 5,315m circuit with a best lap-time of 2’05.85; just-over half-a-second quicker than his previous day’s best time.
Suzuki's MotoGP test team took advantage of the presence of the MotoGP paddock at Austin to plan a test directly after the Grand Prix of the Americas. Under the watchful eye of team manager Davide Brivio, the team planned to have test rider Randy De Puniet put in three days of testing at a circuit the team had not yet tested the bike at, in a bid to gather more data ahead of their return to the series in 2015.
Unfortunately for Suzuki, very heavy hail and thunderstorms made testing extremely difficult on Monday, leaving the track very dirty and much slower than it had been for Sunday's race. But testing resumed in earnest on Tuesday, with Randy De Puniet running through testing electronics and another back-to-back test of the two chassis options Suzuki has been working on. De Puniet racked up a total of 56 laps on Tuesday, eventually putting in a lap of 2'06.41. That is roughly on pace with the Open class Honda RCV1000R machines, though De Puniet faced much worse track conditions than the Open class machines due to the aftermath of the weather.
In the final episode of Suzuki's four-part video series chronicling the Japanese factory's progress towards their MotoGP return in 2015, attention turns to the final test at Misano, and progress with the spec Magneti Marelli ECU. While the test team continue to use the Mitsubishi system at the race track, back in Japan, work is going on to reproduce the functionality in the Marelli ECU. The video addressess some of the challenges they face along the way.
Below is the final video in Suzuki's series:
Suzuki have released the third video in their four-part series, documenting the development of the new machine they are preparing for their reentry into the MotoGP class in 2015. This episode covers the tests at Barcelona and Aragon in June last year, including the public unveiling of the bike, and the impressive lap times set at Barcelona.
Continuing their video series on the progress of their MotoGP project, Suzuki today released the second part of the series. Today's video documents the first tests which Suzuki undertook at Motegi in April and May, after signing Randy de Puniet as test rider and Davide Brivio to manage the program.
The first task De Puniet was set was testing the Suzuki GSV-R 800 bike back-to-back with the new 1000cc bike. De Puniet had previously tested the 800cc bike at Valencia at the end of the 2011 season, before Suzuki decided to pull out of MotoGP temporarily. The two bikes have radically different designs: the 800cc bike had a narrow angle V4 engine layout, while the 1000cc is an inline four with a big bang layout, along the lines of Yamaha's M1. De Puniet's comments on the two machines give an interesting insight into the difference the new regulations have made.
Below is the second video in the series. If you'd like to catch up with the first video, you can see it here.
Press releases from the MotoGP teams after the race on Sunday at Valencia:
Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone after Saturday's qualifying at Valencia:
The Suzuki press office today issued a press release containing a blog entry from MotoGP team manager Davide Brivio. Brivio discusses the progress being made on the MotoGP bike Suzuki are building for their return to the series in 2015:
DAVIDE BRIVIO BLOG
Team Suzuki Press Office November 9.
Suzuki MotoGP Test Team Manager Davide Brivio talks about current progress and future plans for a 2015 MotoGP return at this week’s EICMA Motorcycle Show at Milan in Italy.
I am delighted to introduce myself as the Team Manager of Suzuki MotoGP team and as already officially announced by Suzuki in June, we are now developing our MotoGP racing bike to focus on returning to MotoGP racing in 2015.
This year we have tested the machines at four European circuits; namely, Catalunya, Aragon, Misano and Mugello, as well as several tests at Motegi in Japan.
Through those tests, we can say that we are happy with the results so far as a whole, as we were able to get through them without any major troubles at any circuit, despite many miles under very severe conditions.
Press releases from the MotoGP teams after Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi:
Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone after Sunday's bizarre and action-packed race at Phillip Island:
Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone after Saturday's qualifying at Phillip Island: