Capirossi seventh after first competitive Rizla Suzuki outing

2008-02-17 08:24
Rizla Suzuki MotoGP racer Loris Capirossi recorded the seventh quickest time during today's timed practice session at Jerez in Spain.

The 40-minute session was the first 'official' competition of this year's MotoGP World Championship and Capirossi pushed all the way to win the car that was the prize to the rider with the fastest time. The Italian star used all his experience in the difficult conditions to improve on his time throughout the session. He looked likely to better his position on the final lap but unfortunately ran off the track and was unable to move up the leader-board.

The session was held in dry conditions, but the track was still wet following heavy rain this morning making conditions very tricky as the surface started to dry out. Rizla Suzuki's Chris Vermeulen was second quickest during this morning's practice session, but was just not able to repeat that performance this afternoon. He suffered with similar difficulties in the damp conditions to those he experienced in the dry yesterday and was never in real contention for the top places.

Reigning World Champion Casey Stoner on his Bridgestone-shod Ducati set the fastest time this afternoon and was awarded with a brand new BMW car.

Rizla Suzuki MotoGP has one more full-day of testing at the 4.4km Spanish circuit tomorrow, before it moves on to Losail in Qatar for the next Official IRTA test.

Loris Capirossi:

"It was not too bad this afternoon and we actually tried lots of different things from this morning in the changing conditions. We fixed the bike a bit, but we still have a lot to do � especially in the wet conditions. I don't want to say I am totally happy, but we have to keep working in the way we are going. I can see that the whole team is really close to getting the bike right and understanding what we need. We still have to improve, but with all things considered I am quite happy with where we are at the moment, because I can see things getting better!"

Chris Vermeulen:

"Today has been very different to yesterday with the weather conditions. This morning we had three-hours of wet time and it was quite good to ride the bike around Jerez in the wet. We tried some tyres for Bridgestone and got a set-up for the rain, but to be totally honest I am still struggling with very similar things to the ones in the dry. It was still another good test though so that is a positive thing for us. In the 40-minute timed session the track changed quite a lot. It hadn't rained for a while but it was still very wet and greasy. It tended to be more like dry conditions and that made us struggle even more. We still have some work to do so hopefully tomorrow will be dry and we'll be able to get it all done."

Paul Denning � Team Manager:

"It was good to see Loris in his first competitive outing on a Suzuki. We didn't quite have the pace to challenge to win the car, but Loris made a big effort to get somewhere close on the last lap and unfortunately he pushed a bit too hard and went off the track. We expected full commitment from him and it was good to see that in action!

"Chris was very quick in the full wet conditions this morning � before the timed session � and we expected to see him fighting for the top positions, but it didn't quite work out and some of the problems he had yesterday manifested themselves again today in the damp - but drying - conditions during the timed session.

"The good news is that it seems to be getting drier and if it does we will hopefully get in some good runs and try to take a big step forward in starting to solve some of the issues we've had during this test."

Official Practice Classification:

1. Casey Stoner (Ducati) 1'49.263: 2. Valentine Rossi (Yamaha) +1.317: 3. Nicky Hayden (Honda) +1.522: 4. Anthony West (Kawasaki) +1.536: 5. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) +2.049: 7. LORIS CAPIROSSI (RIZLA SUZUKI MOTOGP) +2.631: 13. CHRIS VERMEULEN (RIZLA SUZUKI MOTOGP) +3.516:

Source: Team Suzuki Press Office

Click here to visit our forums to discuss this story