2013 Aragon MotoGP Private Test, Day 3: Marquez Test 2014 Bike, Suzuki find improvement

The Motorland Aragon test is over. After the second day of good weather at the Aragon circuit, Marc Marquez finally got a chance to ride the 2014 version of the RC213V which Honda had brought to the track, while Suzuki solved the braking problems which De Puniet had been having, and allowed him to find an extra burst of pace.

Marquez spent most of the day testing his 2013 machine, however, working on set up and testing a range of new parts which HRC had brought to the test. The Spaniard ended the day with a best time of 1'48.496, six hundredths slower than his best time from Wednesday, and four tenths slower than the time set by Jorge Lorenzo the previous day, when Yamaha were testing at the circuit. On the 2014 bike, Marquez posted a best time of 1'49.141, a second slower than Lorenzo's best time from yesterday. The bike was improved in some areas, Marquez said, but it still needed some work. Like Dani Pedrosa, who had rejected the idea of racing the bike at Assen after testing it, Marquez said he would not be racing the machine in the short term.

Randy de Puniet had a very busy day, working through a full program, and ending a second off the pace of Marquez, and 1.5 seconds off the pace which Lorenzo had set the day previously. But the Frenchman was 1.3 seconds faster than he had been the day before, clearly having solved a number of issues with the bike. The Suzuki XRH-1 will now be flown back to Japan, where it will undergo more test with Suzuki's test rider Nobu Aoki at the helm. It will reappear in Europe in September, at the post-race test in Misano, and then at a private test at Mugello shortly afterwards. Honda, meanwhile, pack up and head to Assen, for the Dutch TT at the iconic Assen circuit in 9 days time.


No. Rider Bike Time Diff
93 Marc Marquez Honda 1:48.496  
93 Marc Marquez 2014 Honda 1:49.141 0.645
14 Randy de Puniet Suzuki 1 1:49.530 1.034
Best time from Wednesday
99 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1:48.076 -0.420


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Randy D is the shiz!!! TCB!!

That time would have put him toward the front the last two years! Front Row last year(!) and 2nd row in 2011!!

Yes, I know conditions matter, but still exciting non the less!

The REAL question is...What does this mean for upcoming road bikes? Will Suzuki release a big bang gsxr??!! a possible V4 from Honda?

Now let's say hypothetically they were able to get Stoner to test that bike alongside Pedrosa and Marquez on the Honda. Based on the test times so far the Suzuki would be downright competitive! Race distance would obviously be another question but the Suzuki is looking good, no two ways about it. Dorna should be trying to entice them to join the circus next year rather than 2015.

And if they're serious Suzuki should do everything they can to sign Stoner, no matter how remote the possibility is.

I'm a massive Stoner fan, being from Australia and all, but you're dreaming. There is absolutely nothing to suggest that Stoner could take that bike and make it proper competitive between now and next season. Do i think the difference between Stoner and RDP on the RC213V would be at least .8 seconds? Sure. But rider talent can only make up so much for an inadequate bike, just like a quality bike can only make up so much for an inadequate rider.

Doubtless that he would be a great addition to any team for championship and development purposes. But 1, there is no way he will come back without DORNA and the MSMA drastically changing, and 2, even Casey Stoner couldn't prevent the desmosedici going to hell after being a championship winning bike.

They will not enter in 2014 due to the fuel rule. They said they need another year of development to get the thing to sip gas. IF you read into that, that means millions of dollars of development.

The fuel and engine rules are now barriers to additional factories joining the series.

However, please note: this has always been Suzuki's history; they look extremely good in testing, whether it be winter tests or their pre-launch tests.

They were supposed to take a year off racing to dedicate time on testing the very first iteration of their machine back when Motogp started. The results were so promising that they went racing a year ahead of schedule. We all know how that turned out.

Since then, Suzuki has consistently impressed in just about every pre-season testing, only to face hard reality as each season unfolded.

But it's also worth noting Suzuki haven't had a top rider since KRJR won the title. It's become apparent over the past 10 years or so that to win titles its not enough to have a competitive bike, you also need an alien on board or you'll never beat the other aliens anyway. This has been proven every year for the past 10 years except for 2006, which was a fairly exceptional title win by Hayden. (Bayliss lead more laps than Hayden did that year despite only racing the final round).

Looking at the first couple of years of the 800cc formula, Suzuki had numerous top 5 results as well as quite a few podiums with Hopkins and Vermeulen. The missing ingredient was a rider who could turn those decent results into wins. And after that Suzuki hired Capirossi who was well and truly on the decline and Bautista, who is now proving on the Honda that he just isn't a front runner.

Suzuki need to get serious about hiring a rider capable of racing with the aliens - in other words an alien. They're in short supply and don't come cheap but Suzuki won't win races without one.

I understand the appeal of an A-class rider on the Suzuki but would have thought that if HRC, with what is acknowledged to be the biggest cheque book in MotoGP, could not entice Casey Stoner, even when he was already riding for them, what hope have Suzuki?

Honda allegedly offered him 10million Euro to remain for another season. Suzuki would therefore probably need to offer him more (unless things are very different in Casey's mind/world) and 'even' the same salary could be upto 30% of their overall budget.

Still, I'd like to see it.

He has enough money according to him. But if Suzuki could offer him an arrangement whereby he has no media obligations apart from post race interviews, show him their bike is good enough to win (without the pressure of actually being expected to win), along with the opportunity to do something unprecedented like win a title with 3 manufacturers.. Don't get me wrong they'd have to pay him at least 10 million as well, to prove they were serious apart from anything else. Doohan once turned down Yamaha because they weren't prepared to outbid Honda for his services and he thought it showed a lack of commitment.

It's unlikely of course but probably has as much chance as trying to lure any of the competing A graders. Maybe after a couple of years they could tempt Rossi if he continues to get outridden by Lorenzo?

Erm what? Why would any of those things bring Stoner to ride for Suzuki? At Honda he had the millions, he was pretty rarely involved with the media (not that he ever voiced having a problem with it), and he had a winning bike. Honda, Yamaha, Ducati, anyone could have offered him what suzuki present can, if not more.

He left because he didn't enjoy it. He didn't like the technical regulations and changes, as a new father and husband he didn't like that spectre of the death of simoncelli, he didn't enjoy how serious it was and how little it was to do with riding anymore. If you can change it, and him, back to being fun and about the riders, my money is on him being back in the saddle in a heartbeat. Until then, he'll stick to his low salary contract racing(fairly uncompetitively so far) V8 supercars. A racing series that is, at least publicly a fun and safe series for the drivers. A stark contrast to the profit driven corporation MotoGP now is.

V8 supercars aren't exactly a not-for-profit... but your point is well taken, they've worked out how not to kill the entertainment factor.

Otoh, they have a level of standardisation and performance balancing way beyond what Stoner complained of in MotoGP...

Rossi on the Suzuki would be a win win for both, for Suzuki, they would have presumably the best bike developer and for Rossi, he would have no pressure to win but his own. Who knows, if the bike turns out good he might try to get championships on 3 different factories ;)

The perfect scenario for Suzuki would be having Rossi leading the direction of the bike and another younger, hungrier rider in the other bike(Crutchlow?)

Suzuki needs a winner and Rossi isn't it. They'd have better luck plucking Lorenzo, Hayden or even Marquez from their factory seats. They really do need an alien.

As for the GSV-R transferring tech back to a street bike, I don't know. I don't think people would be too hot on a motor that sounds and shakes like a parallel twin. And other than that there's not much difference. It could bring some much needed new life back into the GSX-R line though. The bikes aren't bad but they are pretty long in the tooth. No reason to buy a 2013 GSX-R1000 over a 2003 one.

I think Rossi would probably be a good fit, not that he's a winner or a great developer though. Rossi would bring desperately needed money and sponsors to Suzuki presumably, and he's talented and is a better fit for offering developer insight than RDP and his style offer. But I don't think it's likely, Rossi appears to be motivated by money and fame/winning, he's contractually guaranteed his factory yamaha ride next season, then after that I think he'll try his hand at WSBK, winning a championship in that would definitely do wonders for his already legendary status.

They should enter a non-factory team next year to get the development work done and use someone like RdP, Hopkins, Hayden, Crutchlow, or Laverty, plus some new blood like Redding, or Espargaro, who have a point to prove. Spies might work but he may have lost his mojo or appetite for risk (as may Hopkins). They need data, not wins (which are nigh on impossible for at least two years) and, with the claiming rule gone, by using a CRT or 'production' bike they are quite safe to do so, and can avoid the ignominy of running out of fuel/wrecking engines on lean fuel - they can put 21/22 litres in and see what's left whilst they try to comply. It doesn't look very likely though. A shame, because they may be missing some fresh blood coming up from Moto2. There will be more.
Crutchlow has to be the main choice, but when he says 'factory' he means 'capable of winning'. A big pay check may just keep him in MGP and out of WSB or whatever though. Being the man who brought Suzuki back to prominence might be tempting. Yamaha may have realised that losing Crutchlow may mean losing Monster though.....
Smith may be a good bet after 2014. A top Moto 2 rider would have a good intro to MGP with less pressure.
Suzuki need consistency, not ultimate speed, and the team in the garage and back at the factory will be just as important as the bloke sat on the seat. Pedrosa's comments on Marquez make that very clear, if it wasn't already. Tight resources and the lack of a plan will just turn this into a Ducati-esque scenario. Once they have shown they can be competitive will be the time to ask the Board for the budget to tempt a top rider, or pay to keep the one they took a chance with.

Think your right about this, no better way to test than in the same scenario your expecting to be in, in a Race!
They can come in like Aprilia (if approved), have their 12 engines and 24 litres and spend the year developing and refining, whilst having the competition present as a yard stick. Also under less outside pressure.

Who knows, if/when they start getting quick (and results), the other teams/factories start taking notice and force the team as MSMA, it will only provide them with their next challenge, because they should be ready.

Ben Spies beat #66 (or #1, Mat Mladin) three years straight for the title in AMA Superbike, and then he really took it to them in WSBK and won the title right in his first go in that series. Not trying to be a history teacher, but the man can ride. I've watched him through the years, MotoGP has, for some reason, or a bunch of others, have not been so kind to him. He is a great rider/racer/champion though. Who knows who will actually be on the Suzuki(s) when they are allowed to participate? Lots of silly season material, .....

Suzuki to win. Taking it to the top 2 Japanese manufacturers. We would love Rossi (not all of us, some might) to wave whatever magic he's got left in him and end the story of his career on high. That be a dream people.

Suzuki getting anywhere close to winning or at least beating the Ducati's consistently will take some doing. Face it, without an Alien (hate that word) who are now actually just 2, with one apprentice in the making, you NOT winning anything. The Big H and Smaller Y got this game locked down. Those 3 riders, baring injury will win a GP titles, 13, 14, 15, 16. Maybe by then another hier apparent may have shown himself to be worthy but will he go to Suzuki ?

Forget it.

Good on Suzuki to bring something to test that looks and goes like a MotoGP bike. I hope they find the motivation, $uppport, and talent to keep them moving forward. A bit of reality though. While it's exciting to see another factory bike on track, at best they would be shooting for coming into things ahead of the CRT's and fighting with Ducatis. I don't think even Honda could take a couple years off then come back with a blank sheet of paper and be competitive. With that the first riders they would need are experienced riders not necessarily title contenders and surely not any rookie no matter how promising. While one may fancy seeing their favorite poster boy rider (or ex rider who will remain an ex rider forevermore except in the fevered dreams of some blinkered fans) on some shiny new thing I think the novelty would wear off as soon as that rider's results reflect the hard graft of developing a brand new bike with little to no data.