at first test
Suzuki’s MotoGP team is on its way to Sepang in Malaysia for the first test of 2009 following the winter test ban, with high hopes as it begins its preparations for the forthcoming season.
Promising tests towards the end of 2008 and comprehensive updating of the Suzuki GSV-R at the Suzuki factory during the break will give Loris Capirossi and Chris Vermeulen a highly modified machine to evaluate during the three-day test.
The gathering of the MotoGP paddock at the 5,548 Malaysian circuit will be the first time all the manufacturers have been present to test the new single rule tyres and make comparisons on the control-spec compounds from Bridgestone. It will also be an ideal opportunity for Suzuki and its riders to assess where they are in relation to other machines and riders with the latest incarnation of the GSV-R.
Sepang is a favoured test track of the MotoGP circus as the usual good weather and the interesting layout of the circuit – with its two long straights, tight turns and fast sweeping corners – make it an ideal test-bed for the 800cc MotoGP bikes.
The three-day test gets underway on Thursday 5th February with the first race of the 2009 MotoGP season scheduled at Losail in Qatar on Sunday 12th April.
“I am ready for this test and I’m really looking forward to getting on the bike again. I’ve worked very hard through the winter with my trainer and feel as fit as I have ever been. I am now 100% and planning to put that to good use as soon as I get on the bike. I’m very excited to see what the guys back in Japan have done to the GSV-R and for Chris and myself to get the chance to ride the latest version of the bike at Sepang. I am sure that all the recommendations we made during the last tests will have been analysed and any improvements the Factory could make they will have done in the winter.”
“I am really eager to get back on the track again; it feels like it’s been so long since I was on a bike that I might have forgotten how to ride it! It’s been a couple of months since the last test, but that has been two months when Suzuki has been working really hard to make the 2009 GSV-R as good as it can be at this moment in time. It will be great to ride this year’s bike and see the improvements and alterations the Factory has made to last year’s bike. All the other teams will be there so we will be able to see where we are at the moment in comparison to them and how we have moved on since the last time we were at Sepang.”