Fine Fifth as Five Finish in Top Ten All five of the Bridgestone-shod riders who completed this afternoon's gruelling race at the Sachsenring were classified in the top ten with Ducati's Loris Capirossi heading the quintet with a fine...
Fine Fifth as Five Finish in Top Ten
All five of the Bridgestone-shod riders who completed this afternoon's gruelling race at the Sachsenring were classified in the top ten with Ducati's Loris Capirossi heading the quintet with a fine fifth-placed finish. Capirossi was lapping regularly in the 1m23s for two-thirds of the race and ultimately took best-of-the-rest honours leading Kawasaki's sole race finisher Shinya Nakano over the finish line by three-tenths-of-a-second. Capirossi keeps fifth place in the rider classification with 118 points, while the ten points earned for sixth position take Nakano's season total to 67 points and elevate him to eighth place in the overall standings. Nakano's team-mate Randy de Puniet was forced out of the race in the early stages. Rookie Chris Vermeulen ended his debut race weekend at the Sachsenring on a high note with seventh place, taking the chequered flag a mere 0.040s from returning Ducati rider Sete Gibernau who claimed eighth position. Suzuki's John Hopkins rounded out the top ten and stays in tenth spot in the riders' classification heading into his home race at Laguna Seca next weekend. Although the podium was out of reach this afternoon, Bridgestone derives consolation from achieving its best ever combined results around this track with its five finishing riders in the top ten and separated by just nine seconds.
Bridgestone's improvements and efforts at the Sachsenring this weekend were masked by the performance of its rivals, whose better consistency over the full race distance enabled the eventual top four to pull away in the final third of the race. Bridgestone vows to keep up the pressure to close that elusive gap with its rivals in a bid to regain its early-season fortunes.
Loris Capirossi - Ducati - 5th place: "I chose a very hard front tyre so I didn't push too hard during the first few laps but I could stay with the leading group quite easily. Then from half-distance the rear tyre performance dropped off every lap, so I ended up defending my position from Nakano. It's a pity because things seemed okay. Anyway, we have made a big step since last year when I finished ninth here, a long way behind the leaders. The tyres were also much better than they were at Donington, though still not enough to run with the winner. Looking at the championship, we still have a long way to go and, although I know that I've lost some points and that it'll be difficult to come back, I still believe that we can do it and I won't give up. Maybe Laguna will be another difficult weekend but after that we go to tracks where we can be as fast as anyone."
Hiroshi Yamada - Bridgestone Motorsport - Motorcycle Racing Manager: "Overall not a good day for Bridgestone at the Sachsenring today. Although we knew that this track and race would be one of endurance at thirty laps, we had expected to perform better and perhaps to challenge for a podium finish. The riders and teams worked exceptionally hard all weekend to hone their packages but we were found to be lacking comparative performance to our rivals in the closing stages of the race. Now, we will thoroughly analyse today's results in a concerted effort to resolve this issue. The fluctuating track temperatures over the weekend added an unexpected complication, as we had forecast hotter temperatures, but the track crept up to 38C today which was more in line with our predictions. On average, we were more competitive this year compared to 2005, but the learning curve is never-ending and consequently there is still work to do. For a great deal of the race, Loris was able to keep pace with the lead group and he even set the second fastest lap of the race at just 0.072s from the quickest time of the afternoon. It is good to see him back to good fitness and also to see Sete back in action. Now we must recapture the form that we showed earlier in the season."