Rizla Suzuki MotoGP finds clear direction on first day in Portugal Rizla Suzuki MotoGP racers Loris Capirossi and Chris Vermeulen both made steady progress during today's rain-affected practice sessions at Estoril in Portugal. Heavy...
Rizla Suzuki MotoGP finds clear direction on first day in Portugal
Rizla Suzuki MotoGP racers Loris Capirossi and Chris Vermeulen both made steady progress during today's rain-affected practice sessions at Estoril in Portugal.
Heavy overnight rain had left the 4.182km Portuguese circuit very wet for this morning's practice and although strong winds dried out the surface it still made conditions very difficult as a dry line appeared. With many wet patches on the track and air temperatures only getting up to 14ºC made getting a correct setting for both riders' Suzuki GSV-Rs quite demanding throughout the day.
Capirossi (P11, 1'39.591, 39 laps) continued to search for the optimum setting from his machine in the afternoon session and consistently improved on his times, eventually finishing just over a second behind today's fastest rider, Dani Pedrosa on his factory Honda.
Vermeulen was just one place behind team-mate Capirossi as he recorded the 12th quickest time of the day with a best lap of 1'39.946 from his 46 laps. Suzuki's Australian star believes there is a lot more to come from both himself and his machine over the rest of the weekend.
Rizla Suzuki MotoGP has one more practice session on Saturday morning followed by qualifying in the afternoon. Sunday's race is round three of the 2008 MotoGP World Championship and gets underway at 13.00hrs local time (12.00hrs GMT).
"It's been really hard today, because this morning we didn't really learn anything because the track was very bad due to the weather. We used slick tyres this afternoon but the conditions were still really poor, it was very cold and we just couldn't find the best solution. We have worked a lot on the settings and did make some progress at the end of the day, so now we have a very good opportunity to go really well tomorrow."
"We had a bit of everything today condition wise. It started out wet this morning but dried out quite a lot, but not enough to go out on slick tyres so we finished the session on wets. We were riding around on a half dry track so it was very slippery, but it was fun and we were able to see how a wet tyre would perform in a race if it started out wet and then dried up. This afternoon it hadn't rained but there were still some small wet patches because there had been so much rain. The track was mostly dry and with it being so cold it was difficult to get heat in the tyres, but eventually we got the bike working quite well and made some big steps. We have some more things to try tomorrow and hopefully they will keep us heading in the right direction!"
Paul Denning -- Team Manager:
"This morning's session was a bit of a right-off in terms of any real meaning as we head towards this weekend's race -- unless those conditions repeat themselves on Sunday! This afternoon finished a lot better than it started with Loris only a second off the fastest rider. The gap isn't too bad but we still have quite a bit of work to do tomorrow -- if it's dry -- to give the riders feel and confidence in the rear of the bike in these cooler conditions as we move towards the race. If we can do that we have a better base to challenge the front-runners on Sunday!"