The Suzuki Test Team was back in action as MotoGP testing resumed at the Sepang International Circuit last week. For Randy de Puniet and the squad, the focus on this occasion was the spec Magneti Marelli ECU hardware.
Ahead of Suzuki’s MotoGP return in 2015, it began testing last year with an ECU supplied by fellow Japanese company Mitsubishi. However, with 2014 marking the season from which every bike in the field must run ECU hardware supplied by Dorna Sports and Magneti Marelli, Suzuki began testing the spec device in Malaysia last week.
Unlike the Open bikes, which are also obliged to run spec software, Suzuki was using its own software as the outfit is entering as a full Factory Option.
“It’s very important for us to be here because it is the first opportunity to compare our performance with everybody else,” explained Team Manager Davide Brivio. “To be honest, we have struggled a little bit with the electronics system because we have just introduced the new Magneti Marelli system. We were just going to do the first shakedown, but in reality we did the whole test with Magneti Marelli which is a good sign. Of course, we have some problems to fix; we are working on mapping settings, getting to know the system and those things.”
Once Suzuki returns to racing in the World Championship, it will be limited to 20 liters of fuel per bike as are all of the Factory Option entries.
“We have to think about the 20 liters, but at the moment it is not the priority,” Brivio continued. “We are more concentrated on setting up the electronics. In the meantime, getting to 20 liters means there is also some work to do on the engine from a mechanical point of view; back in the factory, they are working with the next development and by the end of the year it will be much more of a priority.”
Brivio added that Suzuki will join the rest of the field again for the second Sepang test later this month, plus numerous post-race tests during the 2014 season as the team goes to work in Austin and Argentina as well as several European venues.
During last week’s test, Suzuki’s Randy de Puniet completed more laps than any other rider in attendance. His 238 circulations of the Sepang International Circuit equated to 1,319 kilometers (820 miles).MotoGP, Randy de Puniet, Sepang, Suzuki