TT Assen: Suzuki qualifying report

Rizla Suzuki in better shape for tomorrow's Dutch TT Rizla Suzuki racers Loris Capirossi and Alvaro Bautista will start side-by-side on the fourth row of the grid for tomorrow's Dutch TT at Assen in the Netherlands. Bautista (1'36.344, 28...

Rizla Suzuki in better shape for tomorrow's Dutch TT

Rizla Suzuki racers Loris Capirossi and Alvaro Bautista will start side-by-side on the fourth row of the grid for tomorrow's Dutch TT at Assen in the Netherlands.

Bautista (1'36.344, 28 laps) produced his best qualifying performance of the season to put his bike next to Capirossi on the fourth row in 12th place. Despite still struggling with his shoulder injury -- that has manifested itself to a greater extent than at Silverstone -- he continued to make improvements to his lap-times before setting his best time on his penultimate lap of the day. Bautista is in a confident mood for tomorrow's 26-lap race as he goes in search of his best finish in a MotoGP race to match today's qualifying.

Capirossi (P11, 1'35.664, 29 laps) made progressive steps with his Suzuki GSV-R today, but the Italian is still looking for the optimum setting for his machine that will enable him to get the best out of himself and the bike here at Assen. He is still sure that he can run in a higher position and will be out to prove that when tomorrow's race gets underway.

Today's qualifying was held in warm and sunny conditions with track temperatures reaching 42oC. Jorge Lorenzo on his factory Yamaha took his second successive pole position of the season.

Tomorrow's race is the only event on the Grand Prix calendar to be held on a Saturday and proceedings will commence at 14.00hrs local time (12.00hrs GMT) for the 80th running of the historic Dutch TT.

Alvaro Bautista:

"This morning I had some problems with my left arm and I felt quite a lot of pain. I think it is because this track is very physical and requires a lot more work with my arm. For this afternoon I took some pain-killers, but it was still very uncomfortable so I tried to take things a bit easier, so I could save myself for the race tomorrow. We resolved some of the problems we had from yesterday and made some improvements, but we are still not quite there. I still have some problems changing direction as I feel that the bike is very heavy because I don't have the strength in my arm. We still have some small things to try in warm-up to make some small steps to make things better. I want to start well and stay with a good group and be able to push more as the race goes on. I hope the pain doesn't get any worse during the race and I can enjoy it. I am confident that I can make a good result, but the main thing is to enjoy riding the bike."

Loris Capirossi:

"I don't really know what to say today! We did change the bike a bit to alter the way the weight transfers and this gave us a bit of traction back, but still we are not competitive enough. It seems if we improve the rear we are losing out on the front. We just cannot find the best solution and all the guys are working so hard to make things better. We improved the electronics this afternoon and I am happy that we have made a step there. We hope that we can make a small step in the morning because we don't want to start making big changes to the bike now. We're still confident we can run higher than the qualifying position and we'll just have to see what tomorrow brings."

Paul Denning -- Team Manager:

"There is no great satisfaction to be taken from the result today, but after the Silverstone weekend at least we can say that we have made a start to rebuilding the season. Loris is only 0.9 seconds off the front row and while that gap is too big, it's a lot smaller than it was a week ago. Unfortunately Alvaro is struggling more with his injury than he was last week and despite showing good potential in some parts of the track, he is struggling in the important fast changes of direction -- both with the bike setting and his injury -- so the team will be working hard tonight to make it easier for the race tomorrow. Our target for tomorrow is not too far-fetched - we'd like to see both riders finish the Grand Prix, score some points and take a better platform on to Catalunya next weekend."

-source: rizla suzuki

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Loris Capirossi , Alvaro Bautista , Jorge Lorenzo , Paul Denning