Solid results on challenging day for Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Rizla Suzuki MotoGP racers Loris Capirossi and Chris Vermeulen both recorded top-10 positions in today's Italian Grand Prix at Mugello. Capirossi got a good start from the front row of...
Solid results on challenging day for Rizla Suzuki MotoGP
Rizla Suzuki MotoGP racers Loris Capirossi and Chris Vermeulen both recorded top-10 positions in today's Italian Grand Prix at Mugello.
Capirossi got a good start from the front row of the grid and was battling with the lead group in the early stages of the race, but as track temperatures rose to 50ºC, grip started to become a problem for the hard-riding Italian. Capirossi fought for every place right through to the chequered flag and brought his Rizla Suzuki GSV-R home in seventh, to keep him in sixth place in the riders' championship.
Vermeulen got a good start from 11th on the grid, but was boxed out in the early part of the first lap and relegated down to 17th by the end of lap one. The Australian made his way through the field with some strong overtaking manoeuvres to get up to 10th place. Vermeulen was never challenged for the final top-10 position, but was too far behind the riders in front to make any further advancement. As he also suffered with some grip issues, he made sure of bringing his machine home safely to secure valuable championship points.
Today's race was held in warm sunshine with temperatures reaching 28ºC. A record crowd of over 96,000 at the Mugello circuit witnessed home-hero Valentino Rossi win his seventh successive Italian Grand Prix, and strengthen his lead at the top of the World Championship table.
Rizla Suzuki MotoGP now only has a few days before it is in action again, as it makes the short journey across Europe to Spain for the Catalonian Grand Prix in Barcelona next Sunday.
"I am very frustrated, because we tried to do our best and it should have been a better result for us today. I tried to stay with the three front guys for as long as I could, but I was losing a bit on the straights and I had to push really hard on the brakes and through the corners. We started to lose grip and I tried as hard as I could to finish as high as possible. I am not happy at all today and we will have to work hard with Suzuki, because sometimes our bike is good but sometimes over a longer distance we still need to work on some things to be able to make a challenge. The good thing though is that the whole team worked really hard this weekend and they are trying everything to make the bike work well."
"That was a really tough race with the track being so much hotter today. It's been difficult all weekend with the changing conditions, and unfortunately with the lack of testing time and the heat we just didn't have the grip that we wanted - which made the bike quite difficult to ride for the whole race. I got a good start but then got boxed in and pushed wide and ended up back in 17th. So to come through to 10th I felt like I rode well. I had to pass a lot of people and that is not easy around here, but hopefully we can find out what our problems from today were and learn from them for Barcelona next week."
Paul Denning -- Team Manager:
"It's pretty clear that things didn't get anywhere near our expectations today. Both riders suffered from essentially the same problem, which was a lack of grip. We need to understand as quickly as we can why the durability dropped away today. The weather over the weekend didn't allow us to test in the conditions that we had in the race, but obviously our competitors were far less effected by the increase in temperatures than us. We must work hard with Suzuki's engineers and with Bridgestone to achieve the consistency in the bike when conditions change.
"Both of the guys gave everything today and right till the end Loris was fighting for every place, but the result was not near what he was capable of this weekend. The one good thing is that we only have a few days before we can put this behind us in Catalunya and get things moving in the right direction!"