Loris Capirossi has signed a one year contract with an option for another one with Suzuki as the Italian rider announced today in a press conference held at the Brno circuit, setting for this weekend's 12th round of the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix (MotoGP).
"I've got a good feeling about Suzuki. They won a lot of 500cc titles and I'll still be riding for a factory team," commented Capirossi explaining his decision. "I decided to leave Ducati because I didn't want to ride for the satellite team. My decision to leave has nothing to do with Casey's success this year - I get on really well with Stoner and he is a great guy."
The 34 year-old rider showed disappointment with the Marlboro Ducati team after the their decision of getting on board his countryman Marco Melandri for the 2008 season. Ducati offered Capirossi to ride with Luis d'Antin's satellite team for next year, a clear step down that the experience rider did not accept.
"I spoke with them, Kawasaki and with Ducati, but I decided to leave because I was only going to be able to ride for the d'Antin satellite team if I had stayed. I have a new toy now, and I'm optimistic about it.," said the Italian with a gleam in his eye.
Capirossi, who made his debut in the Continental Circus in 1990 and notched two titles in 125cc and one in 250cc, leaves Ducati after a relationship that started in 2003 when the Italian squad joined MotoGP.
Since then, Capirossi raced 75 Grand Prix with Ducati getting six victories, three of them during 2006, his best season with the team taking the third position in the world championship.
As the press conference concluded, Livio Suppo, Ducati MotoGP project director, paid tribute to Capirossi and put an end to any media speculation that their relationship had soured.
"I want to thank Loris, because without him we probably would not be here. Always at the end of a relationship there are some disagreements, but this is life and we respect each other tremendously", Suppo explained. "We have had good times and bad times, but far more good times"
Capirossi -- eighth so far in the current standings with a second place as his top spot -- will see out the rest of the season with Ducati and he has been given permission to test with Suzuki before the end of 2007.
The riders and teams are ready to take on the Czech Republic 3.36-mile circuit after their three-week summer break. The Brno road course is the second longest event this season and quite technical as well as fast. The action begins tomorrow with two practice sessions.