Rizla Suzuki MotoGP makes forward steps on the final day in Spain

2008-02-18 09:57
Rizla Suzuki MotoGP has completed the first 'official' test of the year by making some important improvements to the performance of its 2008 machine.

Loris Capirossi (54 laps) and Chris Vermeulen (62 laps) both recorded their best times whilst conducting a thorough evaluation of the latest Bridgestone qualifying tyres. Capirossi's 1'40.442 was good enough to give the Italian 10th place and team-mate Vermeulen was just behind in 11th with a quickest time of 1'40.576.

Capirossi and Vermeulen also improved their times throughout the day on race tyres as the two both worked tirelessly with their crews to find the best package for the Suzuki GSV-R. They are still looking for the optimum set-up to get the best out of their machines, but hope that they have a clear direction to go in during the next test.

Today's test was held in windy and overcast conditions and more than two hours of the test was lost this morning as the track took time to dry out from earlier rain showers. The fastest time of the day was set by former World Champion Nicky Hayden on his factory Honda.

Rizla Suzuki MotoGP now travels to Losail in Qatar for the next Official IRTA test, a test that will have added interest because it will be held at night under floodlights as the MotoGP paddock prepares itself for the first-ever race at night, also at Qatar, next month.

Loris Capirossi:

"I think we were lucky with the weather today, even though we weren't able to start till after lunchtime. We tried lots of things today and we found a better solution than we did on the first day. I think we are in a better shape now and we can go with a good feeling to Qatar and try and do the last few things at the last test so we will be ready for the first race. We are still struggling in a few places and we know we have to work on those, but we are quite confident for the first race."

Chris Vermeulen:

"It was a difficult morning as we didn't get any track-time, but the wind got up and dried the track out and we had reasonable conditions this afternoon � apart from the wind! We made some progress with the bike to solve some of the problems we have had here this weekend and we now have a direction to go in. We tested some tyres for Bridgestone and I finally got the chance to test some qualifiers. They seemed to work quite well and suit our bike and although I only used two qualifying tyres I am happy with the lap-time that I did. There is still more to come out of both me and the bike, bit this was the most positive day we have had at this test."

Paul Denning � Team Manager:

"We got a break today in that the rain cleared and allowed us to do some much needed dry testing. The conditions weren't the best but at least we were able to get through some of the programme. It was encouraging to see that when some rear grip was dialled into the bike using the qualifying tyres we were able to achieve a promising lap-time. It gave a better level of confidence to both riders and they also improved their times on race tyres as well. But there is no getting away from the fact that we aren't where we hoped to be at the end of this test and we will be looking to put this behind us and make big steps in Qatar next week."

IRTA Test Jerez Day Three Classification:

1. Nicky Hayden (Honda) 1'38.848: 2. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) +0.404: 3. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) +0.465: 5. Randy de Puniet (Honda) +0.503: 5. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) +0.720: 10. LORIS CAPIROSSI (RIZLA SUZUKI MOTOGP) +1.594: 11. CHRIS VERMEULEN (RIZLA SUZUKI MOTOGP) +1.728:

Source: Team Suzuki Press Office

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