De Puniet wants Suzuki race seat

autosport.com

Tue, 08 Nov 21:30:07 2011

Randy de Puniet wants to race for Suzuki in MotoGP next year after making his test debut with the manufacturer at Valencia on Tuesday.

The Frenchman was a last-minute call-up to the Japanese manufacturer's test line-up, as team manager Paul Denning wanted a fresh pair of eyes to assess improvements to the GSV-R over the course of the season, and John Hopkins, who had been scheduled to test, is currently sidelined through injury.

But he surprised the team by going fourth quickest overall and fastest of the 800cc bikes on-track against the 1000cc Hondas, Yamahas and Ducatis.

"I am very happy with the job I have done today and would like to thank Suzuki for giving me this opportunity," de Puniet, who raced for the Pramac Ducati team this year, said.

"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. 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."

Team manager Paul Denning said he was "very impressed" with the Frenchman's performance and praised his technical feedback.

"Frankly, we didn't expect this result," he said. "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 was very impressed with what he did today."

 

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