Suzuki boss Davide Brivio is confident preparations for the Japanese factory’s full-time MotoGP return in 2015 are progressing well after a positive performance from Randy de Puniet in Malaysia last week.
The Frenchman was a lowly 17th at Sepang 1 early last month when he finished almost three seconds off the pace of reigning world champion Marc Marquez.
It was at Sepang 1 where de Puniet first tested the new standard Magneti Marelli electronics hardware with its own Mitsubishi software.
The system was significantly improved for Sepang 2 last week, though still not 100% configured.
But de Puniet enjoyed a much more productive three-day session and finished 12th, but crucially slashed the gap to the top of the timesheets to 1.4s.
The former factory Kawasaki rider had two new engine specs and an upgraded chassis to test in the Far East and Brivio said Suzuki was making solid progress before it returns to MotoGP for the first time since the end of 2011
Brivio told MCN: “We are continuing to work on the electronics with the Marelli hardware and in Japan they have made some steps forward and there is a small improvement. We also had two new engine specs and a new chassis but overall we still have some problems, especially with the throttle connection. This problem is not only electronic and there are some mechanical issues we are working on."
Brivio said the target of motor upgrade last week was to get more torque and top speed and he added: “There is not a big difference between them but we are looking to improve torque. We need another step in this area but have a good direction. Our engineers know that this is important area to have a smooth engine with good throttle connection and power delivery."
Brivio said tests on the new frame were more to establish a direction for future tests, with Suzuki now planning to test privately after the Austin and Argentina races next month.
The Italian added: “It has some good points but mainly we are trying to set a direction for the future. We are looking to improve edge grip but we are not in a rush. We have one year before we race, so these tests in Sepang have been very useful and now we go to Austin and Argentina to make tests after the race as reference point."
For eight pages of coverage from the second Sepang test, see the March 5 issue of MCN.