for Rizla Suzuki
Rizla Suzuki MotoGP racers Chris Vermeulen and Loris Capirossi both made positive steps forward during today’s post Valencian Grand Prix test in Spain as they clocked the fourth and fifth fastest times respectively.
Today marked the first day of a new era in motorcycle Grands Prix as the whole field took to the track on the new generation Bridgestone tyres due to the new single tyre rule that came into force straight after yesterday’s race. Vermeulen (1’33.142, 67 laps) and Capirossi (1’33.325, 75 laps) immediately put their experience on the Japanese tyres to good use as they consistently improved on their times throughout the day. Vermeulen lapped nearly one-and-a-half seconds quicker than his best lap in yesterday’s race, while team-mate Capirossi shaved three-tenths-of-a-second off his fastest race lap.
The two Rizla Suzuki regulars were joined at Valencia by Team Test Rider Nobuatsu Aoki, who was present to give the latest evolution of the Suzuki GSV-R a thorough shakedown test and assist the team in evaluating all the new parts for the 800cc prototype machine.
Rizla Suzuki will continue with the test at Valencia tomorrow as it works towards 2009 and a fully concerted attack on the MotoGP World Championship, that begins at Qatar in March next year.
“It was good to test at the track today, as we were able to compare with yesterday’s times and see how we were progressing against the best times from the race. We had some new parts from Suzuki on the engine, chassis and electronic sides, and we certainly found some positives and some negatives – which is what testing is all about – and we have certainly got a good direction to go in from that. Hopefully Suzuki can work on the things we’ve found here and produce something good for the Phillip Island test next month. We consistently made steps with lap-times today and the new Bridgestone tyres seemed to suit the bike well and the whole package seems to have adapted to the change.”
“I think that overall it was a good day for the first day of testing. I did a lot of laps and never stopped for a break all day, we think it might rain tomorrow so we needed to do a lot of things today. I think that Suzuki has made a good job to improve the engine, but we still need to work more in the same way to make it even better. The tyres were good and the feeling is that not different to what we have been using. It was good to have a full day’s working because we were able to try a lot of things and compare them in similar conditions. We need to believe 100% in the programme and I know we can still go a lot better than we are doing now!”