Michael Dunlop will travel to Malaysia to test for the factory Ecstar Suzuki MotoGP squad at Sepang before the first official test on the 28-30 January.
The 15-time Isle of Man TT race winner has been handed the opportunity of the one-off test at the Sepang International Circuit following his success at last year’s TT when he won the Senior TT race on board the all-new Suzuki GSX-R1000.
The arrangement is also thought to be an incentive to see Dunlop remain in the Suzuki fold for 2018 despite being linked to a number of other teams including Tyco BMW which has a race seat available for the road racing season after Ian Hutchinson’s move to Honda.
Dunlop tweeted a picture of his Ecstar Suzuki racing leathers ahead of his flight to Malaysia for the private test being held at Sepang on the 25-26 January in preparation for the official three-day MotoGP test which begins next Sunday. The Ulster rider is expected to take part in the private test alongside a number of other factory Suzuki riders to get his first experience with the GSX-RR.
Suzuki is aiming for a stronger 2018 having struggled with engine development issues throughout last year which were compounded with Alex Rins suffering a number of early season injuries, which saw him miss five of the opening seven races of his rookie MotoGP campaign, plus Andrea Iannone’s difficulties gelling with the Japanese manufacturer.
Massive thanks to Furygan for making my test suit in short space of time now ready for Moto go test pic.twitter.com/fjowlBugEK
— Michael (@M_Dunlop3) January 21, 2018