News 20 Jul 2009

MotoGP: Suzuki's Capirossi and Vermeulen battle against injury

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Rizla Suzuki racers Loris Capirossi and Chris Vermeulen both battled against injury to race to the chequered flag at Sachsenring in Germany today, earning themselves valuable championship points in the process.

Capirossi took a gamble on the harder compound Bridgestone race tyre, but he wasn’t able to get it up to optimum operating temperature and struggled to get the best feeling from his Suzuki GSV-R around the 3,671m German circuit. He eventually brought his Rizla Suzuki home in 11th place, a result that moves him up one position in the riders’ championship.

Vermeulen was still in a huge amount of pain from the hip and shoulder injuries that he sustained on Friday. He got a good start, but struggled in the early laps to brake hard enough and was relegated to last place. He fought back and even after running off the track, he managed to pass one rider on lap 10 and kept up the hunt – recording his fastest lap of the race on lap 27 of 30. Vermeulen fought all the way to the flag and passed Mika Kallio on the very last lap to bring his Suzuki GSV-R home in 13th place.

Today’s race was held under very cloudy skies, with a crowd of over 98,000 fans that saw Valentino Rossi win on his factory Yamaha and extend his championship lead.

Rizla Suzuki now has a trip back to England for the British Grand Prix next weekend, to be held at Donington Park on Sunday 26th July.

Loris Capirossi:

” We had a couple of issues during the warm-up today and when we saw that the weather was likely to be a bit better this afternoon we decided to use a harder compound tyre. Unfortunately we never had a chance to test this tyre during the practice and it was difficult to get the rubber up to temperature. This was one of the reasons that I struggled during the race, but there was also something else that wasn’t quite right and we need to understand why we did so badly here. This weekend has now finished and we could do with doing some work on this track to see where we are going wrong, but that is not possible. This is not good enough for us and we don’t want to be performing like this and we need as much help as we can get to improve things. The whole crew did a great job last night to rebuild the bike after I destroyed it yesterday, and my condition from that crash is not great but the biggest problem I had today was lack of feeling. I wasn’t able to turn as well as I wanted and this is a problem for me. I really hope that we can find some solutions and analyse the data from today and try and do our best at Donington next week.”

Chris Vermeulen:

“It has been a difficult weekend, especially after I didn’t get off to the best of starts by crashing in the first practice session. I gave my body a really hard time this weekend and because of the crash – and my condition – we lost some track-time and important set-up time. The team did give me a decent bike today, even with the lack of information that we had. I got a good start to the race and I had reasonable speed in the first couple of laps, but I struggled for braking performance and a lot of guys went past me. Then I ran off after I made a mistake and went wide in turn one and that cost me a lot of time. After that is was a pretty boring race and I was just trying to catch Canepa in front of me, but I just didn’t quite have the speed to do that. I did get Kallio on the last lap though and managed to get some points from not a good weekend. Hopefully I can get fitter over the next few days and push hard at Donington.”

Paul Denning – Team Manager:

“It is very difficult to draw any positives from the race result or for that matter the whole weekend here at Sachsenring. The riders are both very much walking wounded so it is good that they were able to finish the race today with no further damage – to either themselves or the bikes – and manage to get some points as well. We hope that they will be in a much better condition to put on an improved show at the team’s second ‘home Grand Prix’ next weekend.”

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