Randy de Puniet on a Suzuki

Frenchman tests the GSV-R800 at Valencia

THIS afternoon saw Randy De Puniet take part in the post-season tests at Valencia on board the Rizla Suzuki.

The factory Suzuki team invited the Frenchman to conduct "a shakedown and comparison test to assess the potential of the GSV-R from another rider’s perspective," according to a press release from the Rizla squad. The Frenchman's feedback will add to that of their sole rider for 2011, Alvaro Bautista and the few wild-cards from John Hopkins.

In his first ride on the GSV-R800 de Puniet logged the fourth fastest time with a 1:33.544, 1.3 seconds behind Dani Pedrosa.

De Puniet's only took a few laps to become comfortable with the Suzuki and put in his impressive lap on the 35th of 55 circulations.

“I am very happy with the job I have done today and would like to thank Rizla Suzuki for giving me this opportunity." said de Puniet. "One hour before I rode the bike I didn’t know I was going to be on it, so I had to modify old leathers to remove the wrong brands!

"I had a good day and am very happy with the lap-time and position. The staff are very professional and it has been nice to have this day and to work with them.

The 30-year-old said he felt comfortable with the bike immediately and would like a job with Suzuki next season, "I was very impressed with the bike and I felt comfortable immediately and enjoyed it a lot. I would like to ride it next year, I’m not the boss, but I hope I did a good job for everybody! I think the bike has good potential and also the feeling with everybody in the team was good and this is the most important thing for me – to feel at home."

Suzuki have still yet to confirm whether they will compete in MotoGP in 2012. Can the performance of de Puniet persuade the Japanese manufacturer to continue?