Bikes: Capirossi battles .....

through the pain at Sachsenring

Rizla Suzuki MotoGP racer Loris Capirossi made his comeback from injury at Sachsenring in Germany yesterday and immediately set about his work with the same determination and conviction that he has shown all season.

Capirossi (P12, 1’23.274, 56 laps) is still suffering from the puncture wound he sustained last time out in Assen, but the courageous Italian showed little sign on the track of the injury hampering his performance, as he completed as many laps of the 3,671m German circuit in the afternoon session as any other rider present. He will continue to have further medical assistance to help with his recovery tonight to ensure he is in the best possible condition for tomorrow’s qualifying and Sunday’s race.

Chris Vermeulen (P14, 1’23.411, 58 laps) had a mixed couple of practice sessions today. He was very satisfied with the progress he and his crew made in the morning period, but was not as pleased with how things went during the afternoon. He made a number of changes to his Rizla Suzuki GSV-R during the hour-long session but just couldn’t find the setting he was looking for and – although he clocked a quicker time – he eventually reverted back to the morning’s set-up to try and find the best way forward.

Today’s practice was held in dry and very warm conditions with track temperatures reaching 46ºC. The fastest time was set by World Champion Casey Stoner on his Bridgestone-shod Ducati.

Rizla Suzuki has one more practice session tomorrow morning followed by the qualifying in the afternoon. Sunday’s 30-lap race is round 10 of the season and gets underway at 14.00hrs local time (12.00hrs GMT).

Loris Capirossi:

“First of all I want to say I’m really sorry to the whole team, because today I have had to fight with myself as well as the bike due to my condition still being not as good as it could be - but I am happy to be here and happy to be fighting to get back to fitness. The thing that I want is to have is my condition 100% because the bike is not too bad here and it is working very well around this track. The team have made a really good job and they improved the bike a lot from this morning. We have to keep working in the same way tomorrow and I am sure we can still be more competitive!”

Chris Vermeulen:

“It has not been a good day overall even though we did make a good start this morning and the bike worked well straight out of the box. We only used one set of tyres in the morning session and the durability seemed really good while the track was cooler. This afternoon it was much warmer, but we seemed to go nowhere with the bike. We tried a few things but still went back to the same setting as we had this morning. We just couldn’t seem to make it better so we have a lot of work to do overnight to make it happen tomorrow.”

Paul Denning – Team Manager:

“It hasn’t been the easiest of days for a variety of reasons – but at least the weather has held and that has enabled us to get a lot of laps ridden and a lot of information gathered. I think that Loris is in more pain and is physically struggling more than he expected - and certainly more than he is admitting to! We can only say thank-you for his enthusiasm and commitment to get back on the bike and continue to push things in the right direction. His 31-laps in this afternoon’s session show that he is certainly not scared of enduring the pain and that he wants to make the bike the best it can be in time for Sunday’s race.

“Chris and his crew have some work to do to find the right feeling, and he is really struggling to get confidence and grip in the fast corners. It’s going to be a case of burning the midnight oil and making sure we’ve got all the options covered to improve tomorrow, he certainly has the ability to be a lot closer to the front.”

Alice Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland Free Practice Classification:

1. Casey Stoner (Ducati) 1’21.582: 2. Alex de Angelis (Honda) +0.411: 3. Colin Edwards (Yamaha) +0.881: 4. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) +1.035: 5. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) +1.177: 12. LORIS CAPIROSSI (RIZLA SUZUKI MOTOGP) +1.692: 14. CHRIS VERMEULEN (RIZLA SUZUKI MOTOGP) +1.829: