German GP: Rizla Suzuki race report

Vermeulen splashes to superb third at Sachsenring Chris Vermeulen raced his Rizla Suzuki GSV-R through the Sachsenring rain to earn a well deserved podium in today's German Grand Prix. Vermeulen started from 14th on the grid and not only had...

Vermeulen splashes to superb third at Sachsenring

Chris Vermeulen raced his Rizla Suzuki GSV-R through the Sachsenring rain to earn a well deserved podium in today's German Grand Prix.

Vermeulen started from 14th on the grid and not only had to fight his way through the field, but was also hampered by heavy rain and the spray from the bikes in front, making visibility almost impossible. He made his way up to third place and challenged Valentino Rossi for second place by lap 10. He couldn't quite close the gap on Rossi and although he came under heavy pressure towards the end of the race from Alex de Angelis, Vermeulen showed tremendous skill in the appalling conditions to bring his bike home on the podium for the first time this season.

Loris Capirossi produced a fantastically brave display today, competing not only with the conditions and the other riders but also the injured right arm that he has been suffering with all weekend. Starting from 13th, he made a solid first few laps before getting up into seventh on lap eight. He then got involved in a long battle with Randy de Puniet and was relegated down to eighth, but he never gave up the chase and overtook de Puniet on the very last corner to take seventh position.

Today's race was watched by over 98,000 people at trackside who braved the rain to see Bridgestone dominate with the first four riders and eight of the top-10, using the Japanese manufacturer's tyres. The race was won by reigning World Champion Casey Stoner, with current championship leader Valentino Rossi second.

Rizla Suzuki MotoGP now makes a transatlantic trip to Laguna Seca in America for round 11 of the season, next weekend on Sunday 20th July.

Chris Vermeulen:

"I am very happy to be on the podium here in Germany. It was a really difficult race, as there was a lot more water than we had practised in on this circuit. I have got to give full credit to Bridgestone as they pushed me to go for a much harder compound than I wanted and it definitely worked. I really want to thank my crew as well, and the Japanese Suzuki staff, as we didn't really have a lot of set-up in the rain but the bike worked really well. It wasn't perfect but it was more than capable of getting me home, so I am really pleased to have put it on the podium for them as well. Let's hope this is the start of a good run and now we are off to a track I enjoy a lot so hopefully we can move up to the top step there!"

Loris Capirossi:

"I am really happy for the whole team because Chris did a great job to finish third and I know it means a lot to everyone. I had to fight a lot with myself for the whole race and by half distance I had quite a lot of pain and was finding it very difficult to change direction, but for me the wet conditions helped with the injury. I had a battle with Randy and on the last corner I was able to overtake him and that was really good for me because I was still able to fight even with the injury and I know it will have healed more next time and I'll be a lot stronger."

Paul Denning -- Team Manager:

"I said yesterday that we would do our best to salvage something from a difficult weekend, but the results today were well above our expectations. Certainly the weather levelled things up and helped us to an extent, but that doesn't take away from the tremendous performances of both riders. Chris has had some bad luck this season and certainly deserves his -- and the team's -- first podium of the year. This can only give him more confidence as we head to one of his favourite tracks next weekend. From 14th on the grid to challenging the top two by mid-race was an amazing job. We didn't quite have enough speed to live with the front two, but third is a great reward for Chris and all his guys who have worked so hard all year.

"Loris's result on paper was not as good, but the effort shown to ride in the conditions out there and fight till the end was truly remarkable. Some riders can tend to make more of injuries than necessary and others sometimes try to hide them completely. Loris is certainly in the latter group and he was really hurting out there today, so again we have to thank him for his determination and effort, and for showing his never-say-die attitude. He will be fully fit by Brno and Loris and his guys are looking forward to that part of the season."

-credit: suzuki

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Loris Capirossi , Valentino Rossi , Randy de Puniet , Chris Vermeulen , Paul Denning , Casey Stoner