the final showdown in Valencia
Rizla Suzuki MotoGP is back in Europe for the final round of the 2008 MotoGP World Championship – hoping to join in the end of season celebrations.
The traditional final MotoGP race of the year at Valencia in Spain always has a festival atmosphere, with huge crowds and the impressive firework display that greets the end of the event just adding to the carnival feeling.
The Ricardo Tormo circuit is celebrating its 10th Grand Prix this coming weekend. The Spanish track is unique in that it is the only stadium event on the calendar, and gives the massed banks of fans in the vast grandstands the opportunity to view all the action on track no matter where they are seated. Last season the huge crowd was able to cheer home a Rizla Suzuki to a podium place.
Loris Capirossi has competed at every Valencian GP and has enjoyed success there with three podiums from his nine visits. He will certainly be aiming for a strong finish to the season to push himself into a higher position in the championship and sign off his first season with Suzuki in style before the team embarks on a comprehensive winter test schedule.
Chris Vermeulen finished sixth at Valencia in 2007 – directly behind Capirossi - and will be looking to improve on that position as the curtain falls on his third full season in MotoGP. Vermeulen is in a confident mood and eager to give his crew and all at Suzuki a boost as he too looks forward to the challenge of preparing for 2009.
Rizla Suzuki MotoGP will take to the track on Friday 24th October for two free practice sessions, followed by another free hour on the following morning. Saturday afternoon will see Capirossi and Vermeulen battling for the best grid positions for Sunday’s 30-lap race that will start at 14.00hrs local time (13.00hrs GMT), when the team will be looking to get enough points to consolidate fourth place in the Team’s Championship.
“I think Valencia will be good for us because it is not really a quick track and our bike is good for handling and braking - so we hope to go really well! We understand that the weather can sometimes be very difficult there because it can be quite cold, but I believe we can go really fast in Valencia. It is the last race and is a good opportunity to start working on how we want to continue next year.”
“Valencia is a great circuit and it suits our bike well with it not having very long straights. The Suzuki works well on the tight and twisty type of circuit and last year we were very quick there and I am really looking forward to going back. Hopefully we can stand on the podium one more time this year, because that is the plan and I really think it is possible!”