to take on the ‘Ring'
Loris Capirossi is ready to make his Rizla Suzuki MotoGP comeback at the Sachsenring circuit in eastern Germany this weekend as he continues his fight-back to full fitness.
Capirossi sustained a large puncture wound in his right arm in an accident at Assen in The Netherlands and was unable to compete in the Dutch TT after Dr Costa and his staff performed an operation to repair the damage. The experienced Italian has worked hard with his own doctors to continue with the healing of the injury and is convinced he is fit enough to return to the GP arena at a circuit that he finished second at last year – a result that is the best finish for Bridgestone at the 3,671m German track.
The wound to Capirossi’s arm was the second injury the Italian had suffered in three races, after breaking his right hand at Catalunya. Although that fracture has now fully repaired, the arm injury from Assen is not 100% healed but Capirossi, Suzuki and senior medical staff have all assessed the situation and considered every safety issue before deciding that he is fit to ride.
Chris Vermeulen will be looking to improve on his record in Germany which has seen him score a best-placed finish of seventh from his previous two starts. He suffered from a jump-start in last year’s race, resulting in a ride-through penalty, but he showed good race pace over the remaining laps at the complicated circuit and fought his way back through the field. The Australian is in confident mood that the Sachsenring circuit could be the ideal catalyst to kick-start the second half of the season for the Rizla Suzuki team.
The Sachsenring track is situated in the town of Hohenstein-Ernstthal, about 80km from Dresden. It was originally a street circuit and when the new track was built it incorporated a part of the old circuit within it, but since recent modifications and alterations have been made to the layout that part of the historic track is no longer used. The anti-clockwise layout is certainly a circuit of two halves; the first part is as tight-and-twisty as any track on the calendar, before it opens out to include a fast downhill section, sweeping bends and a scary right-hand blind crest taken at over 200km/h.
Rizla Suzuki MotoGP takes to the track on Friday for two free practice sessions, followed by a further practice session on Saturday morning with a qualifying session in the afternoon. Sunday’s 30-lap race is round 10 of the season and the action gets underway at 14.00hrs local time (12.00hrs GMT).
“I just can’t wait to get back on my bike! My arm is still mending and it’s quite painful, but it is strong enough to ride with. Also, I have had lots of good advice about how the injury is repairing, and what I should consider about racing. But I know my own body very well and the experience I have gathered from riding tells me that I will be able to compete at Sachsenring and give it all I’ve got. I have missed three races and it is now important for me to get back on the bike again, not just for myself but for the whole team and for Suzuki! I like Sachsenring and I made a good result there last year that I was really happy about - now I need to get a good result for Suzuki to re-pay them for missing the last three races!”
“Sachsenring is a circuit I really enjoy and I’m looking forward to it as it is such an amazing event. Last year I made a jump start and had to do a ride through penalty, but I got my head down and passed a few other guys, before we lost a bit of grip. The track is one that I think suits the Suzuki well and we should be competitive there from the start. I am looking forward to see how the improvements we have made to the GSV-R will work on the tight twisty track of Sachsenring and that - along with the fact that Bridgestone has worked hard on improving its tyres for this track - should make it possible to push for a good result."