The former 500GP World Champion joined test rider Randy de Puniet in completing laps of the circuit where the most recent of the MotoGP world championship, but in conditions much cooler than those at the weekend.
He said afterwards, “The bike turns, accelerates, goes fast; it does everything and I had fun and really enjoyed it.
“After having ridden the MotoGP machine, I now appreciate much more the GSX-R and I want to continue to work on that now to prepare for my race at Suzuka in July. So tomorrow I will only ride the GSX-R.”
A heavy downpour and cold weather, coupled with the fact it was the team’s maiden visit to the circuit, meant a lot of changes to chassis settings and also adjusting the gearbox, with de Puniet completing 56 laps in his first outing.
“We spend some time changing the settings and the gearbox ratios, then we continued to compare two different frames and we found again that the best one here was the one we choose in Sepang. And we confirmed it again that this is more-stable in the corner entry. In the afternoon we tested different electronic maps.
“It has been not bad as a first day here and I’m confident we can improve tomorrow. Hopefully the track will be cleaner.”
Suzuki MotoGP Team Manager Davide Brivio said, “A positive day on a completely new circuit for us. One of the main targets is to continue the development of the new electronics and also to collect useful information on this track for next year when we will be racing.
“We have done that today but also we could work on bike settings and chassis comparison. The lap-time (2’06.41) is not bad for the first day and we are looking forward to improving tomorrow hoping that the temperature can go up a bit and the track will be cleaner.
“It was also very emotional to have Kevin Schwantz – everybody’s hero – riding our bike here. He was quite fast considering the conditions, so we’d like to thank Kevin for this gift.”