The first MotoGP pre-season test at Mayalsia’s Sepang circuit is complete, with Ducati, Honda and Yamaha‘s factory and satellite teams, as well as a handful of CRT entries, collecting data for the next stage of their race prototypes’ development.
Absent from testing was Suzuki which announced last November it was leaving MotoGP racing. Suzuki cited the recession, the rising value of the Japanese yen and the natural disasters afflicting Japan in 2011 as reasons for leaving MotoGP, but the manufacturer did say it intended to return in 2014.
Those plans appear to be on schedule, according to Suzuki test rider Nobuatsu Aoki. The former Grand Prix racer made an appearance at the media center in Sepang and spoke to reporters about Suzuki’s future plans for MotoGP.
Aoki confirmed Suzuki is developing a 1000cc prototype as a potential future replacement for the 800cc Suzuki GSV-R which raced up to this past season.
“The Suzuki 1000cc project is still under development. We are just lacking some budget to race,” Aoki told Crash.net.
Aoki also said he had ridden the prototype in late January.
“The bike is completely new, relative to the 800c so there are many small things to fix. But we have time,” says Aoki. “The plan is still for Suzuki to return to MotoGP in 2014.”
Suzuki Confirms MotoGP Departure – Hope of 2014 Return