Vermeulen eighth in timed shoot-out Rizla Suzuki MotoGP racer Chris Vermeulen recorded his fastest-ever lap around the Jerez circuit today during this afternoon's 40-minute timed session. Suzuki's Australian rider utilised the session to full...
Vermeulen eighth in timed shoot-out
Rizla Suzuki MotoGP racer Chris Vermeulen recorded his fastest-ever lap around the Jerez circuit today during this afternoon's 40-minute timed session.
Suzuki's Australian rider utilised the session to full extent as he tested Bridgestone's qualifying tyres for the first time on the Suzuki GSV-R800. He consistently improved on his times throughout the 40-miutes and set a quickest time of 1'40.043, and compiled lots of important data on the latest generation of tyres.
Vermeulen continued with his comprehensive test schedule during the rest of the day, which included a long run on Bridgestone race tyres, as the team gathered as much information as they could in preparation for next month's race here in Jerez.
Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Team Test Rider Kousuke Akiyoshi didn't have a very happy timed session as he was left sitting on the track after a high-side crash on his 10th lap. He was unhurt but unable to re-join the other riders and had to settle for 18th quickest. He also completed a detailed test day as he gets ready for his race debut at the Spanish circuit next month.
John Hopkins was able to get on track today, but only for the MotoGP riders' group photo. The Anglo-American star is making good progress with his rehabilitation following his high-speed crash at Qatar last week. He is well on course for a full recovery and will take his place on the grid for the season opener also in Qatar.
Over 29,000 spectators came to Jerez to watch today's final day of pre-season testing, and witnessed former World Champion Valentino Rossi set the fastest time on his factory Yamaha to win a BMW car.
Rizla Suzuki MotoGP will next be in action at the first round of the 2007 MotoGP World Championship at Losail in Qatar on Saturday 10th March. This is the first race of an 18 event series that will finish at Valencia, Spain in November.
"I haven't used qualifiers all winter on the 800 so it was a good session for me, as I got to learn a lot about them. I used five rear qualifying tyres in the whole 40 minutes so we made full use of it. We tried four different compounds and constructions, and we got a lot of information for Bridgestone. It was quite difficult during the session as there were some spots of rain and I actually pulled in on one of my laps as there was quite a bit of rain on one of the corners and I didn't want to risk anything. It's the quickest lap I've ever done at Jerez, quicker than my qualifying here last year, so it shows we are making progress and with a clear lap I am sure I could go even quicker! Although we have learned a lot from the qualifiers our main focus is still to get the best tyre we can to do 27 quick laps in the race!"
"I am very disappointed to crash. I was getting quicker all the time and I am sure I would have done better. I had a high-side on the second corner and wasn't able to get back out again in the timed session. I have done lots of testing and learnt the track and I am looking forward to coming back here for the race."
Paul Denning -- Team Manager:
"Today's timed session was a great opportunity to see all the MotoGP riders riding at 100% and pushing their abilities to the maximum. More importantly for us it helped us verify a qualifying tyre choice, not only for here but the general direction for the season. Chris performed strongly and dependably today, lapping at just over 0.1 of a second away from the fastest Bridgestone rider and finishing in the top-eight is not a bad result at all. We also got through some good testing today with consistently good results. Everything we have done here this week will certainly help both Chris and John when the season starts at Qatar in two weeks time."