Suzuki continued its methodical course toward returning to MotoGP in 2015 with a two-day test at Mugello that ended Wednesday, testing significant changes to its 1000cc machine.
Test riders Randy de Puniet and Nobuatsu Aoki sought more top-end speed and grip from changes to the engine, a redesigned cowling, different electronic mapping and a new chassis design.
De Puniet turned 120 laps over the two days, with a top lap of 1:49.260 on Wednesday. That would have put him 13th on the Italian Grand Prix grid last June at Mugello.
The session was the last in Europe of the season for Suzuki, which also tested last week at Misano. The manufacturer will return to Japan for more testing.
"In these two long days, we've worked a lot on the electronic mapping in different situations," de Puniet said. "We also understand that we need to work more on rear grip. We expected Mugello being a difficult track and from this test we gave a lot of information to the engineers, which they can now work on.
"I'm a little sad that this was the last test for this season, as I've enjoyed riding this bike and working with the Suzuki Factory Team. I hope I will have more opportunities to ride again in the future and to continue improving this bike."
Rumors are swirling that de Puniet will not continue to race next season with Aspar and instead focus on his testing duties with Suzuki, aiming for a factory race seat with the team in 2015.
"Randy has helped us a lot, even if at some times we've had to ask him for such a big effort between his regular MotoGP races," said Davide Brivio, Suzuki MotoGP test team manager. "I would like to thank Randy very much for his contribution in finding strong and weak points of our project. His comments were - and will be - important for the development work we have ahead of us in the coming months. I would also like to thank the Aspar Team that allowed Randy to be available for this testing activity.