The bike pictured above is Alvaro Bautista’s Rizla Suzuki, the 800 cc machine he campaigned in 2011 at the end of the 800 cc era. At that time, Suzuki chose not to invest in the development of a 1,000 cc prototype, and shut down its MotoGP efforts . . . promising to return for the 2014 season.
Suzuki is now hard at work to keep that promise. Privately testing a 1,000 cc bike, Japanese test rider Nobuatsu Aoki, indicates the machine has already gone through one generational change in development. Nobu and another test rider (likely Randy DePuniet, currently aboard a CRT Aprilia), will be at the mid-season test this year that follows the Catalunya round in June. Of course, rule changes are expected in MotoGP designed to reduce costs for the participating teams, and this may be one enticement bringing Suzuki back to the grid.