Bikes: Rain delays progress

for Rizla Suzuki at Valencia

Rizla Suzuki MotoGP racers Chris Vermeulen and Loris Capirossi were again hindered in their preparations for a MotoGP race, as yet another rain-affected day hit the paddock.

Vermeulen (P11, 1'47.620, 30 laps) and Capirossi (P17, 1'49.092, 33 laps) used the two wet sessions today to search for the best set-up for their respective Suzuki GSV-Rs in rain conditions. Unfortunately both riders were left frustrated as they felt an important day’s testing had again been lost to the weather at the 4,005m Spanish track.

Heavy overnight rain had left the Valencian circuit very wet, before more rain this morning forced both Suzuki riders to sit out the final minutes of the first session as conditions became too dangerous out on track. As the downpour eased in the afternoon the surface never had a chance to dry out as cool air kept the track temperatures down to 17ºC. Today’s best time was set by Nicky Hayden on his factory Honda.

Rizla Suzuki has one more free practice session tomorrow morning before the hour of qualifying in the afternoon. Vermeulen and Capirossi will both be hoping for better conditions to prepare for what the whole team hopes will be a dry 30-lap race on Sunday at 14.00hrs local time (13.00hrs GMT).

Chris Vermeulen:

“It was a difficult day today with the weather; it was very cold and wet – unlike Malaysia last week when it was hot and wet! It made it quite hard to get going in the cold this morning, but the bike did seem to work pretty well straight out of the box so everything seems to be ok there. As the track conditions changed, with even more rain, we went out and tried even more settings in those conditions – just in case the race is like that – and we feel as though we are prepared if that happens. Hopefully tomorrow will be dry and we’ll get some time on slicks so we can prepare for the race.”

Loris Capirossi:

“Today has been very tough because we have been working all day to find the best solution to the conditions. It feels like I have zero grip on the rear and every time I lean the bike over I feel like I am going to lose it. We tried many things with settings and in the end we changed a lot of things and immediately went one second quicker, but the session was then over and we couldn’t keep on working to see what more improvements we could make. We certainly have a lot of work to do because we are still far away from the top and we still don’t really understand why we have the problem with the rear, but we will be looking at the data to see what is happening – we really hope it rains tomorrow so we can fix the problem. We know we have to go much better, and we certainly have the capability to do so!”

Paul Denning – Team Manager:

“There is no hiding the fact that today has been disappointing. We came here with very high hopes, but we were left today searching for better weather, better performance and requiring a big step in rear grip, particularly in the wet but drying conditions towards the end of this afternoon’s session. At the end it certainly became very difficult for us to get confidence and positive feedback out of the package. Other Bridgestone guys have gone very quickly today in these conditions, so it is clear that we have a lot of work to do tonight, and into tomorrow, if the weather stays the same.”

GP Parts Europe de la Comunitat Valenciana Free Practice Classification:

1. Nicky Hayden (Honda) 1’45.777: 2. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) +0.087: 3. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) +0.182: 4. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) +0.293: 5. Casey Stoner (Ducati) +0.483: 11. CHRIS VERMEULEN (RIZLA SUZUKI MOTOGP) +1.843: 17. LORIS CAPIROSSI (RIZLA SUZUKI MOTOGP) +3.315:

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