Malaysian GP: Bridgestone race notes

Capirossi scores Bridgestone's 20th MotoGP Podium in Sepang Sizzler Malaysian Grand Prix Race Sepang, Sunday 10 September 2006 - Ducati's Loris Capirossi today scored the twentieth podium of Bridgestone's short five-year MotoGP history after an...

Capirossi scores Bridgestone's 20th MotoGP Podium in Sepang Sizzler Malaysian Grand Prix

Race Sepang, Sunday 10 September 2006 - Ducati's Loris Capirossi today scored the twentieth podium of Bridgestone's short five-year MotoGP history after an epic battle with eventual race winner Valentino Rossi in this afternoon's thrilling Malaysian Grand Prix. It was a fight to the finish for the duo with Capirossi forced to accept runner-up position after Rossi negotiated his way through for the win on the last of the race's 21 exhilarating laps. The 20 championship points earned for a well-fought second place in Sepang elevates Loris back up to fourth in the drivers' classification. He set the quickest lap of the race with a time of 2m02.127s, 0.205s quicker than that of race-winner Rossi and 0.866s under the previous circuit record set in last year's race, underlining the competitiveness of the Bridgestone tyres around the Sepang circuit.

Bridgestone's performance was further proven by a strong drive from Capirossi's team-mate Sete Gibernau who completed the race in fifth position and set the third best lap of the afternoon.

Suzuki's John Hopkins also drove a strong race from eighth on the grid to claim sixth place by the chequered flag, just 11s from the winner, and add another ten points to bolster his strong ninth place in the riders' championship. His team-mate Chris Vermeulen also did well to claim 11th position after a difficult weekend.

Both Kawasaki riders Shinya Nakano and Randy de Puniet endured a tough first lap with Nakano forced to retire and De Puniet left to make his way back through the field. His Bridgestone-shod Ninja ZX-RR performed consistently over the remainder of the race to help the Frenchman reduce the early deficit to claim 13th place.

Bridgestone's range of tyres have proven more than a match for the rigours of the Sepang track with each of the tyre manufacturer's three teams regularly among the front-runners in free practice. Bridgestone now hopes to continue its renaissance into the forthcoming Australian and Japanese GPs.

Loris Capirossi; Ducati Corse; 2nd Place: "The whole weekend has been great for us. Valentino and I enjoyed a good battle today with a lot of fair overtaking. It was easy to win or lose this race, but I think a battle like this is so good for the sport. Now I am ready for the last four races. I know the bike and tyres are good and I know I am strong enough to fight with Valentino. But I am not thinking about the championship. I will just do my best and then count the points. In the meantime, thanks to the team and to Bridgestone, they are all working very well."

In attendance today, Akira Nishimura - Bridgestone Corporation - General Manager Motorcycle Racing "That was truly an exciting race! I would like to convey my appreciation to each of our teams for another strong weekend. Loris's battle with Valentino was a joy to watch; he and the Ducati Corse team did a great job, but you win some and lose some! In those circumstances, second place feels almost like a victory.

This result represents a landmark for Bridgestone by becoming the 20th individual podium result since our first MotoGP podium back in Brazil 2003 with Makoto Tamada. We now look forward to more good results in the coming races." Junichi Kawajiri - Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager Motorcycle Race Tire Development "Our tyres have performed very well this weekend, but it has not been an easy race for anyone after yesterday's rainstorm. In the end, as Loris says, we should not be disappointed to miss out on the win after such an exciting battle. It is great to see Bridgestone tyres in the thick of such action and is a true testament to the competitiveness of our tyres around this circuit.

John and Suzuki also showed a good performance this weekend, taking a strong sixth place today. Kawasaki, too, had a competitive package, with Randy making his way from the back of the field to 13th. We will look back on this weekend with memories of a job well done."

-credit: bridgestone

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Series MotoGP
Drivers Loris Capirossi , Valentino Rossi , Shinya Nakano , John Hopkins , Randy de Puniet , Chris Vermeulen , Makoto Tamada