Valencian GP: Rizla Suzuki Friday notes

Rizla Suzuki MotoGP pushing hard in Valencia Rizla Suzuki MotoGP racers John Hopkins and Chris Vermeulen will be hoping to fine tune their machines during Saturday's final practice sessions, as they go in search of a good result from Sunday's ...

Rizla Suzuki MotoGP pushing hard in Valencia

Rizla Suzuki MotoGP racers John Hopkins and Chris Vermeulen will be hoping to fine tune their machines during Saturday's final practice sessions, as they go in search of a good result from Sunday's final GP of the year at Valencia in Spain.

Vermeulen (1'32.786, 56 laps) recorded the third fastest time of the day towards the end of this afternoon's free practice session. He was using a Bridgestone qualifying tyre when he set his quickest time, but he was also amongst the fastest riders of the day on race tyres -- setting the fifth quickest time in the morning session. Vermeulen tried many different combinations of Bridgestone tyres and found a set-up that he was pleased with towards the end of the second session. He will test tyres further tomorrow to obtain as much data as possible in readiness for Sunday's race.

Hopkins (P8, 1'33.369, 56 laps) is still looking for improved grip from his Rizla Suzuki GSV-R around the 4km Valencian circuit, but is confident that he can make big improvements tomorrow. He is looking to finish the season on a high and will be determined to get as good a starting position for Sunday's race during tomorrow afternoon's timed qualifying session.

Today's free practice sessions were held in warm and dry conditions with track temperatures reaching 32C. The fastest time was set by Loris Capirossi on his Bridgestone-shod Ducati.

Rizla Suzuki MotoGP has one more free practice session on Saturday morning, before the timed qualifying session in the afternoon. Sunday's race is the final round of the MotoGP season and the 30-lap event will get underway at 14.00hrs local time (13.00hrs GMT).

Chris Vermeulen:
"I was happy this morning to come to a circuit that I knew. I was able to go straight out and get into a good rhythm because I knew which way the track was going and I was able to follow the right lines. It felt really comfortable this morning but the track temperature certainly increased this afternoon. We made some changes to the bike that definitely improved it and we have tried quite a few tyres for Bridgestone. We found a tyre this afternoon that works pretty good and we will test that further to make sure that it will last race distance. I am quite happy with everything today and will certainly be looking to go a bit quicker tomorrow!"

John Hopkins:
"I have been struggling a bit this afternoon to find the best grip for the bike, it's something that we will be working on tomorrow and we have some different tyres that we will be trying. That's really the main thing to concentrate on at the moment - we need to find that extra edge grip because that is really important round here. Other than that we have worked pretty hard all day and we have a plan of what we want to do tomorrow, so we will be coming out and be ready to go for it.

Paul Denning -- Team Manager:
"It's the last Grand Prix of the year, and you can certainly see that from how hard all the riders are pushing - our guys are firmly within that group! It has been a good day's work and both of the crews and the riders have been working hard to find the best combinations to give good grip and durability. The GSV-R is on its side so much around this track you need good edge and drive grip in order to achieve consistent lap times. Chris found a tyre towards the end of the afternoon session that worked better than any other Bridgestone combination -- so far. That will give John something to try tomorrow afternoon if the weather is similar. It has been refreshing for Chris to come to a track that he knows from previous visits and that has been reflected in his competitiveness today. We are now all looking forward to the rest of the weekend and seeing what Sunday will bring."

-credit: rs

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers John Hopkins , Chris Vermeulen , Paul Denning