De Puniet impresses at Valencia test

Rizla Suzuki gave an impromptu test to French MotoGP racer Randy de Puniet and he wasted no time impressing the team onboard the GSV-R

Suzuki gave de Puniet the opportunity to test the 800cc prototype bike at Valencia today to get another rider’s feedback on the machine and the Frenchman responded by recording the fourth quickest time of the day. De Puniet only took a few laps to make himself comfortable aboard the Suzuki GSV-R and continued to improve on his lap-times as the day progressed. His best time of 1'33.544 was recorded on his 35th lap as he ended the day completing 55 circulations of the 4,005m Valencia circuit.

Today’s test was held in sunny, dry and warm conditions, in complete contrast to the weather that the MotoGP paddock had to face during the Grand Prix weekend. Today’s best lap was recorded by Dani Pedrosa on a new Honda 1000cc machine.

The Valencian test signals the end of the 2011 MotoGP season - the first Grand Prix of 2012 is scheduled for Losail in Qatar on Sunday 15th April.

Randy de Puniet:

“I am very happy with the job I have done today and would like to thank Rizla Suzuki for giving me this opportunity. One hour before I rode the bike I didn’t know I was going to be on it, so I had to modify old leathers to remove the wrong brands! I had a good day and am very happy with the lap-time and position. The staff are very professional and it has been nice to have this day and to work with them. I was very impressed with the bike and I felt comfortable immediately and enjoyed it a lot. I would like to ride it next year, I’m not the boss, but I hope I did a good job for everybody! I think the bike has good potential and also the feeling with everybody in the team was good and this is the most important thing for me – to feel at home.

“I would like to say thank-you to my manager for pushing so hard to get me this opportunity, to Pramac for allowing me to take it and to Sahara san, Paul, Tom and the GSV-R for such a good day!”

Paul Denning – Team Manager:

“We took this opportunity today to test with Randy because the bike has changed quite a lot over the year, and with John’s bad luck in Brno and Malaysia we didn’t get the chance to get the further feedback from a rider other than Álvaro. With that in mind it was an opportunity to properly test the 2012 Bridgestone tyres and receive detailed comments on the Rizla Suzuki GSV-R from another perspective. Frankly speaking we didn’t expect the result, but we are really pleased to see that Randy enjoyed the bike so much, was able to get a good feeling immediately and was very fast and consistent, as well as giving excellent technical feedback. I would like to say thank-you to him - I was very impressed with what he did today.”

MotoGP Official Test Classification:

1. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1’32.186: 2. Casey Stoner (Honda) +0.136: 3. Ben Spies (Yamaha) +1.040: 4. RANDY DE PUNIET (RIZLA SUZUKI MOTOGP) +1.358: 5. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) +1.466: