Rizla Suzuki PR:
Rizla Suzuki MotoGP is in the Catalonian capital of Barcelona for the next round of the MotoGP World Championship, with high hopes of good results at the Montmelo circuit.
Chris Vermeulen finished seventh at the 4,727m track last season, a result that didn’t reflect his excellent practice performance that saw him up with the front-runners all weekend on race tyres. He was hampered in the race when he was hit by Alex De Angelis early on and relegated to 13th place. He rode a strong race and was soon inside the top-10, before eventually coming home in seventh.
Loris Capirossi had a race to forget at Catalunya last year, as he too was involved in an incident with De Angelis, causing Suzuki’s Italian racer to crash heavily and injure his hand. Capirossi is determined to continue with the good form he demonstrated at Mugello last time out, as both he and Vermeulen aim for competitive results.
The Circuit de Catalunya is one of the most modern and safe tracks on the MotoGP calendar. It is situated In Granollers, about an hour’s drive from the city centre of Barcelona. The layout features a kilometre long straight where speeds in excess of 300kp/h will be achieved, plus many elevation changes, super-fast right-hand turns and two spectacular downhill corners at the end of the lap. All this adds to an amazing atmosphere from the huge crowds to help to make this one of the best events of the year,
Rizla Suzuki will have one practice session on Friday afternoon, followed by another on Saturday morning. An hour of qualifying on Saturday afternoon will decide grid positions for Sunday’s 25-lap race.
“The Catalunya circuit is one I really enjoy and we have performed quite well there. I would have done better last year but I didn’t get a good run on qualifiers, so without those this year I hope my starting place will reflect my race-pace in practice – something it didn’t do last year. The Barcelona race is a bit like a home GP for me as well because I have a place in Andorra so it’s just a short journey down to the event and lots of friends and neighbours come down to support me. We are hoping that the upgrades from Suzuki this weekend will work as well on the bike as they have in the factory, we’re not sure if we’ll use them in the race or hang on for the test day, we’ll just have to wait and see.”
“I didn’t have a good time at Catalunya last year after I was hit by another rider and crashed with some nasty injuries. I am determined to put that behind me this year and carry on from where we left off at Mugello. We know we will have to work hard on the long straight at Barcelona, but we learnt a lot from the last race and hopefully that will help us this weekend. We have got some new parts coming from Japan which should make a difference to the performance of the GSV-R so we are all quite excited about that.”