German GP: Rizla Suzuki Friday notes

Solid first day but more to come from Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Rizla Suzuki MotoGP racers John Hopkins and Chris Vermeulen were ninth and 11th quickest respectively after today's two free practice sessions for the German Grand Prix at ...

Solid first day but more to come from Rizla Suzuki MotoGP

Rizla Suzuki MotoGP racers John Hopkins and Chris Vermeulen were ninth and 11th quickest respectively after today's two free practice sessions for the German Grand Prix at Sachsenring.

Hopkins (1'23.645, 60 laps) started the day off in determined mood as he recorded the third fastest time during this morning's session. The Anglo-American worked thoroughly with his team and Bridgestone technicians to find the best combination of race tyres for Sunday's 30-lap race. Hopkins had a small crash during the afternoon session, but his determination showed through once again as he picked himself up, rode back to the pits and went straight back out on track as soon as his mechanics had made the necessary repairs -- finishing the session with as many completed laps as any other rider!

Vermeulen (1'23'.683, 53 laps) had a tough morning as he worked to improve the setting and performance of the bike. Once all those were sorted he set about improving his lap-times. He consistently lapped quicker and quicker throughout the afternoon, taking over a second off of his morning's best time. Vermeulen is confident he can improve further tomorrow and be competing with the front runners on Sunday.

Today's quickest time was set by championship leader Casey Stoner on his factory Ducati, as the top-12 riders' lap-times were all covered by less than a second at the dry but overcast German circuit.

Rizla Suzuki MotoGP has one more practice session tomorrow morning, followed by an hour of qualifying in the afternoon. Sunday's main event gets underway at 14.00hrs local time (12.00hrs GMT) and is round 10 of an 18 race season.

John Hopkins:

"Today's gone really well except for a little mishap this afternoon! We've worked hard with Bridgestone to get the right combination of tyres for the new surface and get the best feel around here. The main thing has been getting a bit of extra edge-grip. I made a small mistake and crashed this afternoon, but I got straight back to the pits and my guys did a great job re-building the bike so I could get back out quickly -- so well done to them. I've got a bit of work to do tomorrow as I need to improve my lines, so that will be one of my goals. The weather looks good for the weekend and I can't wait to get back out there and do as much as we can to get us up near the front!"

Chris Vermeulen:

"I really enjoy it here at Sachsenring and the track certainly seems to suit the new 800. The GSV-R is working well here. We had a couple of set-up problems that we had to overcome this morning and few things with the chassis and electronics that needed sorting. The crew did a great job with that and the difference to this afternoon was a lot better. Bridgestone were a bit in the dark as to which tyres to bring for the new surface, but they've done a great job as what I've tried are working well around here. We've got a couple of choices in tyres already for the race and if we can continue to improve our all round package over the weekend, like we have done today, I'm sure we will competitive in the race."

Paul Denning -- Team Manager:

"Apart from the first two riders on the timesheets it's ever so close for the rest of the field here at Sachsenring. Both John and Chris are extremely near to a top three position and both of them have improved this afternoon -- especially Chris. He has halved the gap to the front riders today and I'm sure there is more to come from him as well. This is a track where minute detail makes a big difference to positions, so both crews will be working hard tonight to fine tune everything to give John and Chris every opportunity to improve tomorrow."

-credit: suzuki-racing

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers John Hopkins , Chris Vermeulen , Paul Denning , Casey Stoner