Rizla Suzuki Sepang test notes 2008-01-24

Rizla Suzuki MotoGP confident after positive first test Rizla Suzuki MotoGP has completed its first 2008 pre-season test at Sepang in Malaysia, confident that all the items tested and evaluated will give it a clear indication of the direction...

Rizla Suzuki MotoGP confident after positive first test

Rizla Suzuki MotoGP has completed its first 2008 pre-season test at Sepang in Malaysia, confident that all the items tested and evaluated will give it a clear indication of the direction to take in forthcoming tests.

Chris Vermeulen and new-signing Loris Capirossi completed three exhausting and comprehensive days of testing in high temperatures at the 5.5km Malaysian track, and both riders were impressed with the performance of the new-spec engine they tried for the first time in the Suzuki GSV-R. Following on today from in-depth evaluations of tyres, brake components and many other electronic and mechanical strategies over the previous two days, the Rizla Suzuki riders completed race-distance runs on their respective machines to gather as much data as possible for the Factory Technicians present at trackside. Vermeulen completed 70 laps today -- over 380kms of race-pace riding in temperatures approaching 35C - with Capirossi just behind on 62 laps. The Australian was ninth quickest overall with a fastest time of 2'01.748 that was recorded on Bridgestone race-tyres during the hottest part of the day, as he simulated what is likely to be race conditions for the Malaysian Grand Prix later this year. Capirossi was immediately after his new team-mate on the timesheets, with a fastest time of 2'01.778 to give him 10th position. However, when lap times are adjusted to exclude the use of qualifying tyres, the Rizla Suzuki duo placed fourth and fifth respectively.

Rizla Suzuki MotoGP now moves south to Phillip Island in Australia for the second test of a busy pre-season schedule in readiness for the first race of the 2008 MotoGP World Championship season at Losail in Qatar on Sunday 10th March.

Chris Vermeulen:

"After all the intensive testing of the first two days it was good to get a long run and simulate a race distance on the new GSV-R today. The conditions were really hard as it was the hottest part of the day, but what was pleasing was that I did the best lap-time I've ever recorded at Sepang during that, so it shows that the reliability and durability of the bike is similar to what we had last year -- but a bit quicker! Bridgestone has given us a step up in rear tyre performance, now we need to work together to find the best front solution. We now head off to Australia to continue with the testing programme, we still have a long way to go before the first race, but this has certainly been a good start."

Loris Capirossi:

"This is only the fourth time I have been on the bike at a test, but I already feel like I have been here for a long time and I am one of the family! The bike is getting better all the time and we are learning not only what is working well, but also what isn't! The bike is really good, I like the feedback it gives me, it's amazing under hard braking - my confidence is really starting to grow! We have to go to Australia now and I know that that has been a difficult track in the past for Suzuki, but I am sure with all the testing developments and the new parts that the factory are giving us we can make the bike more competitive there than is has ever been. We did a long run today and it was good for me to see how the bike behaved over full race distance and what I can expect when we start racing for real in March."

Paul Denning -- Team Manager:

"This has been a very positive test and a good start to the season. Chris and Loris were on the pace from day one and have got through an enormous amount of work. Suzuki has really done a great job with the bike, especially the new engine, and it's great to be so close to the best pace when we still have some clear areas to improve upon. The crew also did a fantastic job, after almost seven weeks away; they were on it right from the start and worked tirelessly over the three days and nights!

"We still have a lot of work to do but everyone is super-motivated and we are all focussed on doing the very best we can. We have a good base package and two great riders. Our only goal is to as competitive as we can come race-time!"

-credit: suzuki-racing.com

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Loris Capirossi , Chris Vermeulen , Paul Denning , Phillip Island