German GP: Rizla Suzuki preview

Rizla Suzuki MotoGP plans to keep the pressure on The German round of the 2007 MotoGP World Championship from Sachsenring in eastern Germany signals the start of the second half of the season, with Rizla Suzuki MotoGP looking to continue with...

Rizla Suzuki MotoGP plans to keep the pressure on

The German round of the 2007 MotoGP World Championship from Sachsenring in eastern Germany signals the start of the second half of the season, with Rizla Suzuki MotoGP looking to continue with the excellent form it has shown in the first nine races.

The Team sits in third place in the MotoGP Team Championship and John Hopkins and Chris Vermeulen have already collected 182 points between them -- almost double the amount the pair had scored between them at the same point last year. The Team has so far had one race win, two podium finishes, one pole position and five other top-five finishes. Hopkins is in fourth place in the riders' classification and Vermeulen lies just one place behind him in fifth.

Sachsenring is situated about 90km from Dresden and is one of the biggest attended races of the year, with over 200,000 people cramming into the stands around the 3.6km circuit during the three days. Last season over 50,000 people turned up on the first practice day to see the riders begin their preparations for the race. The German track is a true test of tyres and the circuit, unusually, has more left hand corners than right - with only Assen having more. The Suzuki GSV-R will use full throttle for less than 10 per-cent of a lap and smooth power delivery low down in the rev-range will be vital, something that the 800cc bike excels in.

Hopkins and Vermeulen take to the track on Friday for two free practice sessions, followed by another free session the following morning. Saturday afternoon will see the excitement of qualifying as the riders battle it out for the best grid position for Sunday's 30-lap race - which gets underway at 14.00hrs local time (12.00hrs GMT).

John Hopkins:

"It's been a tough summer up to yet, but one that has produced some good results for me and the team. Sachsenring is a difficult circuit and one that I still have a bit of trouble coming to terms with. We had some grip issues last year but with the way the Bridgestone tyres are working I don't think that will be a problem this year. I am sure that I can keep my strong run going and finally get a good result in Germany. The new bike should go well there and I think we can be looking for another top-five finish -- at the very least!"

Chris Vermeulen:

"I had a pretty strong race at Sachsenring last year, even though I found it a difficult track to learn. That was the first time I had ever been there and got a seventh place finish. I really want a dry weekend as we have a lot to do with the bike and it is always better to race in dry and warm conditions than in the wet. I am still a bit annoyed about what happened in the race last week, but there is nothing I can do about that now, I just hope that somebody else doesn't want to crash into me this week because three times this season already is more than enough!"

-credit: suzuki-racing

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