Portuguese GP: Rizla Suzuki race report

Double top-10 for Rizla Suzuki MotoGP in tough Estoril weekend Rizla Suzuki MotoGP racers Chris Vermeulen and Loris Capirossi raced to eighth and ninth places respectively during today's Portuguese Grand Prix at Estoril, to earn valuable points...

Double top-10 for Rizla Suzuki MotoGP in tough Estoril weekend

Rizla Suzuki MotoGP racers Chris Vermeulen and Loris Capirossi raced to eighth and ninth places respectively during today's Portuguese Grand Prix at Estoril, to earn valuable points in the race for the championship.

Vermeulen got off to a great start from his 13th position on the grid and was up to eighth by the end of lap one. Suzuki's Australian star then traded places with a number of riders before bringing his Suzuki GSV-R home for his highest placed finish of the year so far.

Capirossi made a good start and picked up a couple of places in the first lap. The experienced Italian struggled to get the grip he was looking for throughout the race, but still battled on to bring the bike home in a respectable ninth position, a result that moves him up to sixth in the rider's championship.

Nearly 42,000 fans at trackside watched as the dry race began with a light rain shower, causing the white flags to be displayed, allowing the riders to come in and change their bikes for ones with wet weather tyres -- an option which no rider took. As the rain eased off, Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo on a factory Yamaha raced away to his premier MotoGP victory and first position in the championship.

Rizla Suzuki MotoGP will now stay in Estoril for a one day test before travelling to Shanghai in China for round four of the 2008 MotoGP World Championship on Sunday 4th May.

Chris Vermeulen:

"I made a good start from the fifth row and picked up some places in the first couple of corners. It was spitting with rain a bit at the start so it made it difficult to judge how hard to push. I got into a good position and had a battle with Stoner, Toseland and de Puniet for quite a long while in the race. Towards the end we started to get a bit of front end vibration and that caused me to slow down a bit, but it is the closest we have been to the front this year and we must keep making progress!"

Loris Capirossi:

"I didn't expect such a difficult race today because we did such a good job in practice yesterday and I thought we would do much better! I was fighting a lot from the beginning for grip and I don't know why the tyres didn't work well, maybe it was a change in the temperature or the humidity -- I just don't know. I tried to keep a good rhythm but it was really tough out there and when the race is as difficult as that I just try to keep going and get as good a result as possible, which is what I did today. I am obviously disappointed -- not just for me but for the whole team -- because our target is much bigger than what we achieved today."

Paul Denning -- Team Manager:

"It has been a disappointing Grand Prix and we'd hoped for a lot better. We got both bikes into the top 10 but realistically we needed a bit of luck to do that, it's very clear that we still have a lot of work to do. On the same bike and the same tyres yesterday, Loris could easily make very competitive lap-times, but today we really struggled to stay in touch. Our grip potential seemed to change a lot today, whereas our competitors didn't seem to be as badly affected.

"We are here for a full day's testing tomorrow and let's hope we can find a bit more pace, put this race behind us and head to Shanghai where we know the Bridgestone tyres and the Suzuki GSV-R have worked well in the past!"

-credit: rizla suzuki

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Loris Capirossi , Chris Vermeulen , Jorge Lorenzo , Paul Denning