Japanese GP: Rizla Suzuki Saturday notes

Cancelled qualifying puts Rizla Suzuki on the second row Rizla Suzuki MotoGP racers Chris Vermeulen and Loris Capirossi will start tomorrow's Japanese Grand Prix from fourth and sixth places on the grid respectively, after today's qualifying ...

Cancelled qualifying puts Rizla Suzuki on the second row

Rizla Suzuki MotoGP racers Chris Vermeulen and Loris Capirossi will start tomorrow's Japanese Grand Prix from fourth and sixth places on the grid respectively, after today's qualifying session was cancelled due to adverse weather conditions.

For the second successive Grand Prix the rain intervened to cause the cancellation of part of the Grand Prix weekend. The race at Qatar was delayed for a day due to heavy rain and similar weather conditions at Motegi today gave the organisers no choice when the decision was made to cancel the session.

Vermeulen and Capirossi did manage to get out on track in the morning session when the rain was not as heavy and were able to get some wet setting information for the 4,801m circuit. Vermeulen clocked the fifth quickest time as he completed 14 laps, with Capirossi in 13th also after 14 laps. Vermeulen is in confident mood after having the fourth and fifth fastest time in the respective dry and wet conditions.

Today's cancellation of the qualifying session meant that the grid was decided on the best times from the two free practice sessions that had been run over the weekend. This left Vermeulen in fourth with Capirossi sixth and reigning World Champion Valentino Rossi on pole.

Tomorrow's 24-lap race will get underway at 15.00hrs local time (06.00hrs GMT) with both Rizla Suzuki men hoping for better weather.

Chris Vermeulen:

"Obviously it has been really difficult conditions this afternoon for everyone involved in the championship. I feel like we've been very unlucky to have the rain in the desert and now in Japan! From a personal point of view I am really happy to have qualified on the second row in fourth position. It's always the goal to be on the front row, but this gives us a good opportunity to get a good start and be right up the front from the beginning of the race. The bike worked well in the dry yesterday and not too bad in the wet this morning. We were fourth and fifth in the two sessions so we have something to look forward to whatever the weather. I hope it is dry though because this is better for everyone and makes for a better race. We will still try our best and the goal is certainly to be on the podium and if we can do that it will be a great weekend!"

Loris Capirossi:

"I am not too happy really as we still had some problems with the setting and tyre selection from yesterday, and we didn't get a chance to sort it out today. We worked well in the wet and never really pushed too hard to get a good lap-time, but I believe we will be competitive so we will need to see what happens with the weather tomorrow. The conditions this afternoon were just too bad to go out in and it was better that we didn't try to ride as it could have been very dangerous. I really love this track and want it to be nice tomorrow so I can see the true potential of our bike at a race. It has been good in testing and we need to see how it performs in race conditions. We try to improve every time we go out on the track, but we have done nearly nothing this weekend and now it will be hard to make the correct choice for tomorrow, but I think we will do alright and will be quick whatever the weather!"

Paul Denning - Team Manager:

"It has been a frustrating day for everybody involved in MotoGP, but there is nothing that could have been done to change the situation. Obviously we're fortunate that both the guys did a good job yesterday afternoon which has put us on the second row and given us a chance to go for it from the start - whatever the conditions.

"After this, our Japanese colleagues are now banned from complaining about the weather in England ever again!"

-credit: rizla suzuki

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Loris Capirossi , Valentino Rossi , Chris Vermeulen , Paul Denning