Former Suzuki MotoGP rider Alvaro Bautista says he has not been surprised at the impressive testing pace shown by the Japanese factory’s new 1000cc machine in testing this week.
Frenchman Randy de Puniet raised more than a few eyebrows when he set the eighth fastest time during a one-day session at the Catalunya track near Barcelona on Monday.
The current Aspar Aprilia rider was only just over 0.7s away from reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo’s quickest pace at Catalunya.
It was harder going during a two-day session at the Motorland Aragon this weekend but de Puniet was still 1.5s away from Lorenzo’s record-breaking pace of 1.48.076.
But Bautista, who raced a factory Suzuki in 2010 and 2011, he told MCN at the Motorland Aragon this week: “The bike looks not so bad. I trust a lot in Suzuki because I did two years with them and we did a really good job in the second year.
"At the end we were very competitive so I think they can make a good bike. I am surprised but not too much because I know the potential of Suzuki and they can do it.”
Suzuki caused something of a surprise earlier this week in Catalunya when it announced it would be delaying its MotoGP return until 2015.
The original plan when it took a sabbatical at the end of 2011 was to return in 2014, but Suzuki boss Satoru Terada said earlier this week that the delay to 2015 was so the Japanese factory could focus on bike development.