Suzuki set for MotoGP return?
SUZUKI RETURN BANKS ON TEAM PULLING OUT: Suzuki's return to MotoGP in 2014 could hinge on another team pulling out.
MOTEGI, Japan - Suzuki is ramping up testing as it seeks to return to MotoGP in 2014 and test rider Nobuatsu Aoki says the bike is performing better than expected.
Aoki, who last raced a full season in 2004, said the Japanese outfit had been testing on its home Motegi track and plans to head to Barcelona in Spain after the Catalunya GP in June 2013.
Aoki said: "We're on schedule (for 2014). We just launched a new bike last week. It performed quite good, better than I expected."
Suzuki has been planning a return to the premier-class grid since 2012 after pulling out at the end of 2011 when it ran just one bike in the series. The brand hadn't won a race since 2007.
2014 GRID PACKED?
Dorna, which runs MotoGP, has reportedly said the grid is already full and that Suzuki must come to an agreement with another outfit if none of the teams pulls out in 2014.
Aoki said he was unaware of any arrangements being made by Suzuki, but noted that while it would be cheaper to join up with an existing team Suzuki would want its own set-up. He added that a rider from Europe would join the Japanese manufacturer soon but declined to name him.
The opening round of the 2013 MotoGP World championship will be raced in Qatar on April 7.