Rizla Suzuki MotoGP rolls out into the light Rizla Suzuki MotoGP has completed the first-ever MotoGP event held at night, as it tested at Doha in Qatar on Thursday evening. Loris Capirossi was the first rider to take to the track to test ...
Rizla Suzuki MotoGP rolls out into the light
Rizla Suzuki MotoGP has completed the first-ever MotoGP event held at night, as it tested at Doha in Qatar on Thursday evening.
Loris Capirossi was the first rider to take to the track to test the awesome floodlights that have been erected around the 5.38km Losail International Circuit. He was closely followed on to the track by team-mate Chris Vermeulen as the pair set about preparing their Suzuki GSV-Rs in readiness for next week's race at the same venue - also to be held at night.
Vermeulen completed 80 laps onboard his machine, as he recorded a fastest time of 1'57.522 to give him 14th place on the timesheets. Capirossi circulated 66 times and his quickest lap of 1'57.551 gave him 15th spot.
Both riders worked hard to find significant advances in set-up and handling improvements from the last test at Jerez in Spain, and will be looking to better their lap-times and positions during tomorrow evening's session.
Track temperatures dropped to 15-18C as the cool desert air made tyre choice a major issue and proved a thorough test for the Bridgestone technicians present at the track. Today's fastest time was set by World Champion Casey Stoner on his Bridgestone-shod Ducati.
Rizla Suzuki MotoGP has one more test session tomorrow which will be the final time Capirossi and Vermeulen take to the track before next week's practice begins for the first race of the 2008 MotoGP World Championship, also at Qatar.
"It is really interesting riding in the night and my feeling is that it is good out there, it's not like daylight but I am very impressed. We are working a lot on the bike and we have tried something different to find the best setting. We know the way to minimise the problems we have at the moment, we are still struggling a bit with traction which was the same as we had at Jerez. I think we are working really hard and the team is very close - we only need a bit of time to make sure we are 100% and fully competitive for the first race."
"It was quite strange out there to begin with as it wasn't as bright as I thought it would be, there were still quite a lot of shadows so it took a bit of getting used to. The circuit has done a great job though as it is difficult to supply the level of light we need to race a MotoGP bike, but they have made that possible. From the bike's point of view we had a big problem when we arrived here, but today we seemed to have partially solved that and that was certainly our priority at this test. Things are definitely heading in the right direction and I hope that we have sorted this problem so that we can really work on some proper testing and getting some pace out of the bike."