For the first time the Suter VDS MotoGP team had a chance to conduct testing of their 2012 prototype machine. Test riders Damian Cudlin and Carmelo Morales completed more than 100 laps together, taking advantage of both wet and dry conditions at the Jerez circuit in Spain. The 1000cc BMW-powered bike is set to launch during the 2012 MotoGP season, when rule changes will allow increased engine displacements. - Matt Davidson
Courtesy of Marc VDS Racing Team:
The Suter Marc VDS MotoGP machine completed a successful first shakedown test at the Jerez circuit in Andalucía, Spain this week. The bike completed more than 100 laps, in both wet and dry conditions, with positive results.
Rain on the first day of testing meant that the bike made its track debut on Michelin wet tires, with Marc VDS test rider Damian Cudlin at the controls. Despite the difficult conditions the Australian took the opportunity to complete 30 laps, getting a feel for the bike and for the Jerez circuit, which he was riding for the first time.
Dry conditions on the second day saw Cudlin joined by Suter Racing test rider, Carmelo Morales, with the Australian completing more than 70 laps in the morning, before handing over testing duties to his Spanish colleague in the afternoon.
Testing was curtailed on the third and final day, as rain returned to the Jerez circuit.
Powered by a BMW engine, the Suter Marc VDS MotoGP machine has been designed to take advantage of rule changes for 2012 that will allow teams to contest the MotoGP class with machines based around a 1000cc engine housed in a prototype chassis.
Damian Cudlin: Marc VDS Test Rider
"Not many people get to ride a MotoGP bike, especially a prototype bike for 2012 like this one; it's pretty cool and it's been heaps of fun! We've learnt a whole lot about the bike and, while there's still a lot more to learn, the potential is definitely there. The weight, or lack of it, is impressive and the handling has been pretty much spot on from the start of the test; it feels a bit like a more powerful Moto2 machine in a lot of ways. This week we've taken the first small steps on what will be a fairly long journey, I'm excited to be a part of it and I'm looking forward to seeing how the bike turns out at the end of the journey. I've got the easy job really, riding the bike, it's all the clever people around me who will be taking on responsibility for development, but they've certainly done an impressive job so far."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Manager
"For a first rollout of the new bike the test has been very successful. The weather has been a problem, restricting us to just one day of dry testing, but we still managed to complete over 100 laps on the bike with no issues at all. The bike definitely has potential; we've seen that here in Jerez this week. Now we need to sit down with Eskil Suter and his technical team to agree a development plan that will unlock this potential, starting at the next test in January. This is an exciting project and we are a part of it only because of the support of our President, Marc van der Straten, to whom I'd like to say a big thank you on behalf of the team."