Italian GP: Rizla Suzuki preview

Rizla Suzuki MotoGP looking for 'La Dolce Vita' in Italy Rizla Suzuki MotoGP travels across Europe to Mugello in Italy, for the next round of the MotoGP World Championship, still fuelled with confidence following Chris Vermeulen's fantastic ...

Rizla Suzuki MotoGP looking for 'La Dolce Vita' in Italy

Rizla Suzuki MotoGP travels across Europe to Mugello in Italy, for the next round of the MotoGP World Championship, still fuelled with confidence following Chris Vermeulen's fantastic victory last time out at Le Mans.

Vermeulen stormed to his and Suzuki's maiden MotoGP victory last weekend, a result that followed John Hopkins' podium in China the race before. Both results show that Suzuki has produced a motorcycle this season capable of performing in all conditions.

Rizla Suzuki MotoGP has also been working hard improving the 800cc GSV-R in readiness for the forthcoming races. Both riders tested new engine parts at Le Mans on the Monday after the race and were impressed with the steps forward.

The sixth round of the season will be held at the picturesque Autodromo Internazionale Del Mugello. The track is set in the beautiful Tuscan countryside just north of Florence. The 5.245km circuit is one of the fastest on the MotoGP calendar, with the start-finish straight running along the bottom of a valley and the rest of the track winding up and down the hills on either side. Mugello is used as Ferrari's testing circuit and, with the 50 metres of altitude difference along the track's length, offers a comprehensive stress test for men and machines alike.

Rizla Suzuki MotoGP will take to the track on Friday 1st June for the customary two hour-long free practice sessions. Saturday will see another free practice session in the morning followed by the excitement of qualifying during the afternoon. Sunday's 23-lap race will get underway at 14.00hrs local time (12.00hrs GMT), when thousands of excited Italian fans are expected to line every bit of hillside around the track.

Chris Vermeulen:

"Last weekend was a great result for me and the team, but that was last week and now we have to start all over again at Mugello. I struggled to get to grips with the circuit last year and only managed 14th in the race. I am determined to do better than that this year as I know I have improved and so has the bike. Monday's test at Le Mans was pretty good and we will have the new parts for Italy. I am looking forward to getting back out there and we must now build on the wet win and podium and start doing it in the dry ^Ö which I know we are capable of!"

John Hopkins:

"I was a bit disappointed at the end of the race at Le Mans as we had worked so hard in the dry and then that was spoiled by the weather. We will continue to work hard in Italy and hope that the weather holds this time. I really like the Mugello track, it is fast and flowing and I think it will suit the 800 well. We made a number of steps forward at Le Mans in the test. We will have the new parts in Italy and I think they will be a big help. I feel good about my riding and my chances of a good result in Italy!"

-credit: rizla

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers John Hopkins , Chris Vermeulen