Qatar GP: Rizla Suzuki Friday practice report

Capirossi sixth in Qatar as new season begins Rizla Suzuki MotoGP racer Loris Capirossi began his 20th season in Grand Prix racing by recording the sixth fastest time at Losail in Qatar this evening. Capirossi (1'58.468, 17 laps) used a new ...

Capirossi sixth in Qatar as new season begins

Rizla Suzuki MotoGP racer Loris Capirossi began his 20th season in Grand Prix racing by recording the sixth fastest time at Losail in Qatar this evening.

Capirossi (1'58.468, 17 laps) used a new setting in his Suzuki GSV-R today, which was completely different to the set-up he used at the recent test in Qatar. He found a few useful things in the new configuration and with that - along with the previous data - will try to obtain the best set-up for tomorrow's qualifying and race day.

Chris Vermeulen (P14, 1'59.348, 17 laps) and Capirossi both used the softer option compound front tyres for the duration of the session in order to save their allocation of the harder tyre for the remainder of the weekend. Vermeulen was pleased with how the session went considering he didn't use his favoured compound.

Today saw the new rules for MotoGP come into force, with only one session on the first day and that has been reduced to 45 minutes, from the hour that was available last year. It was also the first time that that the single control tyre came into operation, with all riders now using Bridgestone rubber and restricted to only eight front tyres (four of each compound) and 12 rears (six of each) for the whole weekend.

This evening track and air temperatures were both in the mid 20Cs and a strong wind made conditions quite difficult as the fine desert sand blew onto the circuit. Casey Stoner on his factory Ducati set the quickest time.

Rizla Suzuki has one more practice session - also of 45 minutes - early tomorrow evening, followed by a qualifying session of the same duration later on. Sunday's opening race of the 2009 season will get underway at 23.00hrs local time (20.00hrs GMT).

Loris Capirossi:

"For the first practice it was not too bad, but we did struggle a bit with the setting. In the recent test it was not perfect so we tried a new one and this didn't work as well so we will use some stuff from that and go back to the old one. We have a good idea what we need to modify tomorrow and I am sure we will be stronger. 45 minutes seems a really short time and it is difficult to get a lot of work done, also with the limited amount of tyres - especially on such a dirty track - made it quite tough Overall we are quite pleased and we will have quite an easy way to improve tomorrow!"

Chris Vermeulen:

"It was not really the start to the weekend that we wanted. We have a limit on tyres and didn't really want to use any of the hard front tyres that we will be using for racing. We tried to make the softer one work and we were going not too bad in the beginning of session, but at the end I kept the front tyre in and there was a lot of movement in the front of the bike and struggled to keep corner speed up. It was a bit frustrating that we couldn't go as fast as we have been round here, but I still have all my hard front tyres left and hopefully the speed will come back when we put that in."

Paul Denning - Team Manager:

"It's been a long time waiting for the start of the season and it all seemed to be over so quickly with only one session and it only being 45 minutes! It means that there needs to be an intense level of work in the time allowed and that is something we will have to adapt to as the season goes on. We didn't achieve what we wanted to this evening in terms of the result, but we are fully aware that the favoured front tyre for both riders wasn't used, so that we could keep enough for tomorrow and race-day. I am sure with the data the guys have collected tonight - and the favoured tyres - we'll be a lot closer to the sharp end tomorrow!"

-credit: rizla suzuki

Be part of something big

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