Promising first day for Rizla Suzuki at Brno Rizla Suzuki MotoGP began the first day back after the mid-season break in fine form at Brno in the Czech Republic today, with both riders in the top-six. Loris Capirossi led the way for the boys...
Promising first day for Rizla Suzuki at Brno
Rizla Suzuki MotoGP began the first day back after the mid-season break in fine form at Brno in the Czech Republic today, with both riders in the top-six.
Loris Capirossi led the way for the boys in blue as he clocked a time of 1'58.000 from his 46 laps to give him third place on the timesheets at the end of day one. Capirossi is still nursing the injury he sustained in Assen in June, but he appeared untroubled by the wound as he consistently improved his times around the newly re-surfaced 5,403m Brno circuit.
Chris Vermeulen continued with his good run of form - which has seen him take two podiums in the last two races -- at the Czech track today. He was constantly in touch with the leaders in both sessions before finishing in sixth place with a time of 1'58.462 from his 46 laps, just over a second behind today's fastest time set by current World Champion Casey Stoner on his Bridgestone shod Ducati.
The new surface at Brno looked likely to be a severe test for the Bridgestone tyres as little data about performance was available before this weekend, but the Japanese tyres certainly got to grips with the recently laid asphalt, as the top-eight bikes were on Bridgestones.
Today's practice was held in warm but overcast conditions with the ground temperatures reaching the mid 30ºC mark, but that could all change when Capirossi and Vermeulen take to the track for tomorrow's final practice session in the morning and the qualifying in the afternoon, with rain forecast over the weekend.
Sunday's race is round 12 of the MotoGP season and the race gets underway at 14.00hrs local time (12.00hrs GMT).
'I am really happy with today's performance because after the first couple of laps this morning I was a bit worried, because we just hadn't got the setting right. I think that was mostly down to the new surface and it was a bit dirty and made it very difficult to control the bike. I came into the box and we made some changes to the bike and by the end of this morning's session the feeling was good. We made a lot more changes this afternoon and with the new setting I felt really good on the bike. My lap-time is not too bad, but I think we can improve on that, we have the power and I need to work on my rhythm a bit. One of the best things today is that I am nearly at 100% after the injury, my condition is great and this weekend I want to give the team something good because after recent races they really need it!"
"I really enjoy it here and it was great to get back on the bike because the last week or so I've started to get itchy feet. The bike worked well straight out of the crate and we used the base setting that we have had success with at the last couple of races. We are working on a few modifications and doing some longer runs on the tyres to test the durability on the new surface. It seems to be going really well and we have a couple more things to work on tomorrow. I'm quite looking forward to the weekend and just hope the weather stays good."
Paul Denning -- Team Manager:
"The first thing I have to say is that it's great to have the original spec Loris back in the garage! His arm is still causing him some pain and it doesn't look too good, but it is at a level now where it isn't restricting his riding and he is able to concentrate on the bike and his own performance. Being in the top-three today is a great encouragement for the team and tremendous personal boost for Loris after all the pain of the recent Grands Prix.
"Chris has also been on the pace all day, he's been consistently quick and able to maintain a very good lap-time -- even on tyres that have done more than race distance. I think he's still got a bit more left in him and his crew will be looking to make the job easier with a few detailed changes to the bike overnight.
"Bridgestone has done a fabulous job to prepare tyres for this completely new surface. We expected some abrasion problems with the front, but this is now reasonably well under control and the rear tyre is working very well and very consistently. The front two guys -- as in Laguna -- are a bit ahead, but the rest of the field is very close and we will need to keep our focus to stay in the fight for the podium positions."