San Marino GP: Rizla Suzuki Friday practice report

Impressive progress for Rizla Suzuki at Misano Rizla Suzuki MotoGP racers Loris Capirossi and Chris Vermeulen finished third and sixth respectively at the end of a positive first day's practice for this weekend's San Marino Grand Prix at Misano...

Impressive progress for Rizla Suzuki at Misano

Rizla Suzuki MotoGP racers Loris Capirossi and Chris Vermeulen finished third and sixth respectively at the end of a positive first day's practice for this weekend's San Marino Grand Prix at Misano in Italy.

Both riders used the two hour-long sessions to dial in the new chassis on the Suzuki GSV-R for the 4,226m Italian track. Capirossi improved on his lap-times consistently throughout the day as he worked with his crew to get the best settings. His time of 1'35.377 from his 56 laps came on his final lap of the second session, and Capirossi is convinced there is still more to find from machine and rider tomorrow.

Vermeulen recorded 51 laps today and was only marginally behind his team-mate with a best time of 1'35.743. He also spent time heading towards the optimum setting for the new chassis to complement the Bridgestone tyres and he too is confident of yet more improvements as the weekend progresses.

Today's practice was held in warm and sunny conditions with track temperatures reaching 46ºC. Reigning World Champion Casey Stoner set the fastest time on his Bridgestone-shod Ducati, but with less than a second separating the next 11 riders, Sunday's 28-lap race looks likely to be a close affair.

Rizla Suzuki MotoGP now has one more practice session tomorrow morning to prepare for Saturday afternoon's qualifying and Sunday's race.

Loris Capirossi:

"I am really happy with the way things went this afternoon because this morning things didn't go quite right at the start and the bike didn't work so well. We then changed to the new chassis and it was better straight away. We made sure we set it up the best we could and I am really happy with how it worked! The team is working really hard and we have never lost our way today and this is important because after the great weekend we had in Brno we need to continue with that kind of performance. I am sure we will all improve tomorrow, and in the race, and that we can carry on the great run the team is having!"

Chris Vermeulen:

"The bike worked pretty good straight out of the crate and some of the new parts we tested at Brno worked well here. I am really happy with the way Suzuki has worked to make the bike more competitive and it feels like we have taken a big step forward today. We've changed some things to get the tyres working well with new frame and that is all now coming together. We tried a new rear tyre towards the end of the session and I was happy with the grip and consistency. Tomorrow we have a few more chassis set-up changes and the aim is to qualify on at least the front two rows!"

Paul Denning -- Team Manager:

"It's been a really positive first day for the whole team in Misano and it's been a great relief to find that the improvements that were found at the Brno test were confirmed by both riders during the sessions today. Now that Loris is fit, his confidence is coming back to the highest level and this afternoon I really have to thank Stuart and his guys for making a huge step in the setting which enabled Loris to ride at his best. Chris is also very close to Loris and only needs a few detailed changes to take a decent step forward. He looks very confident at this track and will be aiming to repeat last year's performance. Thanks must also go to Suzuki for letting the riders use what are essentially prototype parts here this weekend, and although it's not the complete answer, it's definitely a step forward!"

-credit: suzuki-racing.com

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Loris Capirossi , Chris Vermeulen , Paul Denning , Casey Stoner