Suzuki keen to retain Randy de Puniet for 2014 testing role

By Matthew Birt -

MotoGP

 25 June 2013 14:52

Randy de Puniet could have his testing contract at Suzuki extended for 2014 after impressing in three appearances on the Japanese factory’s new 1000cc machine.

The current Aspar Aprilia rider has a contract to head Suzuki’s test and development schedule in 2013 and he had hoped it might lead to a permanent ride in the 2014 MotoGP world championship.

Those aspirations were dealt a blow earlier this month when Suzuki announced it was delaying its MotoGP return until 2015 to ensure it can focus on machine development next year.

After tests in Motegi, Catalunya and Motorland Aragon, Suzuki has been pleased with de Puniet’s technical feedback and his ability to improve the set-up of the new 1000cc bike.

He was eighth fastest and only 0.7s behind reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo in the recent post race test at Barceloma and while de Puniet’s preference is to continue racing full-time next season, he could be tempted to sign a testing deal with Suzuki in the hope of perhaps securing numerous wild card appearances in 2014.

Suzuki test team boss Davide Brivio told MCN: “We haven't talked about that yet with him but this is one serious option for us. It would be good to have some stability. He knows the bike and he is doing a good job.

Randy would have been interesting for us next year had we raced because he is doing a very good job for our development. I am very happy about Randy’s job and we are improving the bike with his comments.”