Solid first day with no Shanghai surprises for Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Rizla Suzuki MotoGP racers Loris Capirossi and Chris Vermeulen both made positive steps towards finding the best set-up for their Suzuki GSV-R's during the first day of free ...
Solid first day with no Shanghai surprises for Rizla Suzuki MotoGP
Rizla Suzuki MotoGP racers Loris Capirossi and Chris Vermeulen both made positive steps towards finding the best set-up for their Suzuki GSV-R's during the first day of free practice today for this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai.
Capirossi recorded the eighth quickest time of the day with a fastest lap of 2'00.964 from his 42 laps. The Italian's best time was just over a second off the fastest lap of the day and Capirossi is confident that there is more to come from him and his machine over the forthcoming weekend.
Vermeulen was just outside the top-10 with the 12th fastest time. He set his best time during a long run on the same Bridgestone race tyre this afternoon, but Suzuki's Australian star was concentrating more on getting the optimum set-up for his GSV-R than out-and-out fast laps. Vermeulen is determined to make some big improvements tomorrow when he tries one of the new generation of Bridgestone tyres that he has available to him.
Today's track temperatures reached 52ºC around the 5,281m Shanghai International Circuit and clear skies and bright sunshine helped push air temperatures up to 28 ºC. Valentino Rossi on his Bridgestone-shod Factory Yamaha set the quickest time of the day.
Rizla Suzuki MotoGP was joined at the track today by Mr Masahiro Nishikawa, General Manager of Suzuki's Motorcycle Engine Design Department. He will stay with the team for the weekend as it continues to prepare for the 22-lap race that gets underway at 15.00hrs local time (07.00hrs GMT) on Sunday.
"It's been quite a positive day for us because we have tried many things and we have found a good setting for the bike. We went a bit softer on the front set-up this afternoon and although it is still not perfect we know what needs changing on the bike tomorrow. We are not yet 100% certain on the tyre for the race, but we have a good idea and we will run it for a lot of laps tomorrow to make sure it will be right for the race. I am close to the top-guy and I made a couple of mistakes on my last two laps or I would have gone even quicker. I think this could be a great weekend for us!"
"We tried a lot of things with the bike set-up today and definitely made some big steps forward this afternoon. I used the same tyre for the whole afternoon session, which was probably not the best option as I struggled to get as much grip as I wanted when we were making so many changes to the bike. The good news is that Loris used a tyre today that I didn't and it seemed to be a big step forward for him, and as I have it in my allocation I will run that tomorrow and I'm really looking forward to seeing the difference it makes. We are confident for this weekend and are looking forward to what should be a good race."
Paul Denning -- Team Manager:
"It's not been a bad day's work at all today. The Bridgestone tyres and the Suzuki GSV-R both seem to be a good match to the Shanghai circuit. We've still got a lot of detailed work to close the gap on the very fastest riders, but both the guys have a clear plan and a good level of confidence that we can take big steps tomorrow.
"It's also been a pleasure to welcome Mr Nishikawa, to his first MotoGP event outside of Japan and we hope that we can put on a decent show for him this weekend, and make sure that he returns to some more events in the future!"