Rizla Suzuki Qatar test notes 2008-02-29

Positive steps after a hard day's night for Rizla Suzuki Rizla Suzuki MotoGP racers Chris Vermeulen and Loris Capirossi both made encouraging improvements during the final tough session of testing at Losail in Qatar tonight. The riders...

Positive steps after a hard day's night for Rizla Suzuki

Rizla Suzuki MotoGP racers Chris Vermeulen and Loris Capirossi both made encouraging improvements during the final tough session of testing at Losail in Qatar tonight.

The riders were again testing under the floodlights of Qatar's 5.38km Losail International Circuit as they prepared themselves for next week's Grand Prix -- also under the lights in Qatar.

Vermeulen was quick to capitalise on the progress he made in yesterday's test and his best time of 1'56.119 from his 73 laps was good enough to give him eighth place on the timesheets. He continued to search for the optimum set-up of his Suzuki GSV-R and is convinced that his crew has succeeded in making a big step in the right direction.

Capirossi (P11, 1'56.450, 64 laps) was called upon to carry out some crucial engine and chassis tests as he too searched for the best solutions to maximise the potential of his 2008 machine. His cause was not helped by a heavy crash during the evening, but the experienced Italian walked away unhurt and was soon back out on his spare GSV-R.

The cold night-air of the barren Qatari landscape again played its part tonight as the track temperatures dropped to 13ºC, making the correct choice of tyres vitally important to get the best grip. Jorge Lorenzo on his factory Yamaha set the fastest time whilst using a qualifying tyre.

Rizla Suzuki MotoGP has just one week before it is back on track for the opening round of the MotoGP calendar, a race that will make history by being the first-ever Grand Prix staged at night.

Chris Vermeulen:

"It was good night of testing here in Qatar. I think we have taken the most steps in a test so far this year with the 2008 GSV-R, so in that respect I am really happy. We took our lap time forward by over a second consistently so that puts us in a better position for the race next week. I would like to thank the crew for all their hard work during what have been quite awkward hours. I now just can't wait for the race!"

Loris Capirossi

"I think I lost a bit too much time today because I tested too many things. I tried three different engines and maybe was a bit confused with all the different options, but it was really important to do it. The good thing is that we now really understand where we need to be, but we will still have to work hard to get there. I also lost time because I had a big crash, but luckily I wasn't hurt and could carry on. Really this has been quite a good test because we have learnt many things."

Paul Denning -- Team Manager:

"Yesterday was very difficult and we didn't achieve anything close to what we'd hoped for - or what the riders and GSV-R should be capable of. We made big steps today towards unlocking the full potential of the 2008 bike, with Chris in particular being able to find a rhythm and run in the low 56's on race tyres, which is much closer to the front running pace.

"Loris had an evening of fundamental testing work which is not the ideal way to prepare at the final test of the off-season, but the work he has completed tonight has been extremely important to determine some key factors with regards to the next steps. A fairly sizeable crash didn't help, but his enthusiasm shone through again and he wasn't put off the job-in-hand at all.

"Everybody in the team is now looking forward to getting the first race of 2008 under our belts next weekend and - whilst we still have a lot of work to do to get to where we want to be - we have taken some significant steps towards a decent result this evening."

-credit: suzuki-racing.com

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