The world of a MotoGP test rider is a little strange. They’re born racers, and yet when they take to the track it’s usually alone, their mission to develop a motorcycle. They don’t get a trophy, nor do they get to battle with other riders. But deep down inside, they want to race. Suzuki MotoGP Test Team rider, Randy De Puniet, is one of those people. This year, he will race in the World Endurance Championship Suzuka 8-Hour in Japan for the Yoshimura Suzuki team.
The French rider will join Japanese rider Takuya Tsuda – who also is part of Suzuki MotoGP development team – and Tyco Suzuki’s Australian BSB rider Josh Waters for the 37th Coca Cola Zero WEC second round at the end of July as the Yoshimura company celebrates its 60th Anniversary.
De Puniet will ride the #34 Yoshimura Suzuki Shell ADVANCE GSX-R1000 alongside the #12 Yoshimura Suzuki Legend Team comprising 1993 World 500cc Champion Kevin Schwantz, former All Japan Superbike Champion Satoshi Tsujimoto and De Puniet’s regular MotoGP testing partner Nobuatsu Aoki.
Said De Puniet: “I’m really excited to race at the Suzuka 8-Hour in July with Team Yoshimura Suzuki. I have always been interested in racing here because it’s an iconic race and it’s also one of my favourite tracks. I have good memories of racing Suzuka with my first GP podium in 2002 in the 250cc class.
“For me, it will be a new experience to do an endurance race, to share a bike, and also to ride this Superbike machinery. It will be a special event because it’s the 60th Anniversary of the Yoshimura Team and I’m really happy to be there for it. I will do my very best to win this race for Suzuki and Yoshimura.”