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Suzuki MotoGP Concludes Austin Test

Team Suzuki Press Office – April 17.  The Suzuki MotoGP Test Team has concluded its Circuit of America 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.

Said De Puniet: “I’m happy that we have found a big improvement on throttle connection and traction control. We worked some time to find the right setting with the new electronics also and at the end we found a good compromise. We continued to work on the chosen chassis and it worked really well today. So the package is definitely better and I wanted to have an extra day to be able to continue the work as yesterday we spent most of the time setting-up the bike for the new circuit along with the new electronics. Also, I have not been riding a bike for a few weeks and I needed to get back the feeling.

“Anyway, today on the race tyre, we improved a lot from yesterday’s lap times and found a good pace. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to try some sort-of time-attack by the end of the day as we had a small problem on the bike and we lost the last half-hour on the track. But I feel we had the potential to even further improve our performance.

“Now we’ll go to Argentina – which is a completely new circuit – but I’m glad we will go there soon and hopefully I will be still hot from this test.”

Satoru Terada, Project Leader and Team Suzuki MotoGP Team Director, said: “We brought a new engine-spec and new chassis-spec here and found a good combination. We also worked on combining a good electronic setting to this new engine-spec and we are happy with the results. We also confirmed today our chassis choice.

“Our performance in terms of lap-times could have been better by the end of the day, but the important point is that we leave Austin with good information about our bike and about this circuit. We also had a time to enjoy Kevin Schwantz riding our latest MotoGP bike and also sharing the circuit with Yoshimura Team, supported by Suzuki Motor of America. Now we look forward to Argentina where we will test again on Tuesday and Wednesday after the MotoGP race.”