Tough test for Rizla Suzuki MotoGP produces clear direction for improvement

2008-02-01 04:16
Rizla Suzuki MotoGP has completed the second 2008 pre-season test on a positive note at one of its toughest tracks on the MotoGP calendar.

Phillip Island in Australia has recently proved a difficult circuit for Suzuki to conquer, but Chris Vermeulen and Loris Capirossi both made significant improvements during this three-day test that will help their performances not just at the 4.4km Australian circuits but also at other tracks around the world.

Vermeulen tested a range of Bridgestone qualifying tyres today and clocked the sixth fastest time with a lap of 1'30.216, over a second-and-a-half quicker than his qualifying time at last year's Australian Grand Prix. He also improved on the race-tyre lap-times that he recorded at November's behind-closed-doors test at Phillip Island.

Capirossi undertook a race length simulation today, but the full evaluation was cut just short due to another rider crashing and the session being halted by a red flag.

Rizla Suzuki MotoGP now returns to Europe for its next test at Jerez in Spain, which will also include a televised hour-long session on Sunday 17th February. This test will also see the first time that the Rizla Suzuki GSV-R has appeared in its 2008 livery.

Chris Vermeulen:

"We have found some promising things with the bike today, but we still have some issues to sort out at Phillip Island - it certainly seems to be our bogey track! We tested so many options over the three days and tried different things from almost every angle - we've definitely found some direction to help us. Our lap-times were quicker than when we came here in November so that certainly means we're moving forward. Everything that Suzuki is doing is definitely helping so that is also a very positive step. We tried some qualifiers and that went quite well, which for me personally is a very encouraging thing as that is certainly an area I need to improve in. We now head to Spain for the next test with the season getting closer, we are still scratching our heads on a few things, but I am sure will make further steps in the next few tests in time for the start of the season. It was tough here at Phillip Island but the improvements we have made here will help us at the tracks we are already strong at."

Loris Capirossi:

"I had a tough day today and did struggle a bit. I nearly completed a long run but unfortunately that was red flagged and I didn't quite finish what I wanted to do. We still have quite a bit of work to do at Phillip Island and I would have liked to have been further up the time sheets as I don't think it is a good reflection of all the hard work the team did this week. We tested many new parts from Japan and some worked, but also some were not quite as good. We now go to Europe and I am sure we will be very competitive after what we have learned here in Australia."

Phillip Island Test Day Three Classification:1. Casey Stoner (Ducati) 1'28.777: 2. Nicky Hayden (Honda) +0.957: 3. James Toseland (Yamaha) +0.977: 4. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) +1.003: 5. Colin Edwards (Yamaha) +1.018: 6. CHRIS VERMEULEN (RIZLA SUZUKI MOTOGP) +1.439: 13. LORIS CAPIROSSI (RIZLA SUZUKI MOTOGP) +2.731:

Source: Team Suzuki Press Office

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