Suzuki will continue the development of its new prototype at the preseason tests on Feb. 4-6 and Feb. 28-28 at Sepang.
Test team manager Davide Brivio said the Sepang tests were important because every rival manufacturer should have its 2014 machines on track, providing an accurate barometer of Suzuki's progress as it prepares to return to MotoGP in 2015 after a three-season layoff due to the worldwide economic meltdown.
Suzuki tested in Europe this summer and has returned to its homeland of Japan to pound out more laps. The manufacturer tested Monday through Wednesday of this week at Sugo, running on the same track as two-time World Champion Casey Stoner, who was testing the 2013 and 2014 RC213V prototypes for Honda.
In a funny twist of irony, rival Yamaha owns the Sugo circuit. Honda-owned Twin Ring Motegi wasn't available because it was rented out for a riding school featuring Honda legend and two-time 500cc World Champion Freddie Spencer.
The 1000cc prototype still had a 21-liter fuel tank and still was running Mitsubishi electronics hardware at Sugo. Next year, Suzuki will need to run a 20-liter tank and spec Magneti Marelli software to conform with MotoGP's new "Factory" rules.
It's expected Suzuki will have the new tank and Magneti Marelli black box bolted on its prototype at the February tests at Sepang.
Nobuatsu Aoki will continue to test for Suzuki. Aoki is the eldest of the Aoki brothers, is an ex-Suzuka 8 hours winner and ex Honda and Team Roberts racer. He is 42 years old.
The second test rider for 2014 remains unknown. Randy de Puniet tested this year for Suzuki, but he has not yet signed a contract to test next season. De Puniet was rumored to be eager to continue testing in 2014 for Suzuki and then parlay that experience into a factory seat upon the manufacturer's full-time return to the premier class in 2015.