Rizla Suzuki racers Chris Vermeulen and Loris Capirossi have a tough task ahead of tomorrow’s final MotoGP race from Donington Park in England.
Sunday will see the last MotoGP race at Donington Park – for the foreseeable future – and Vermeulen (P13, 1’30.98, 33 laps) and Capirossi (P14, 1’30.153, 28 laps) will have their work cut out right from the start as they try to fight their way through the field after both qualified on the fifth row of the grid today, following a frustrating qualifying session for the pair.
Neither rider was able to find the answers that they were looking for to enable them to make significant steps forward with their Suzuki GSV-Rs. With rain forecast for tomorrow, Vermeulen and Capirossi could be called upon to use all their skills in the wet to carve through the field and challenge for a good result at the 4,023m British circuit.
Today’s qualifying was held in cool and windy conditions with track temperatures only getting up to 31ºC. World Championship leader Valentino Rossi will start from pole position on his factory Yamaha.
Tomorrow’s race will be the last motorcycle Grand Prix since GP racing returned to Donington in 1987 and a big British crowd is expected to turn up and witness end of an era when the lights signal the start at 15.30hrs local time (14.30hrs GMT).
“I am really frustrated because I was looking forward to Donington as I’ve had some success here and the bike has worked well, but this weekend so far has been quite difficult. In the wet we had reasonable success, but it has been really tough for us in the dry today. We have struggled to make the bike turn how we would want it to and to keep the front end feeling and speed through the corners. That is something we will need to work on this evening, it’s an issue we’ve had a couple of times this year and hopefully we can get it resolved for tomorrow. I know I don’t really like the rain, but we might get lucky tomorrow and it will be wet – which would certainly help us this weekend. You never know what the weather will do at Donington so we will have to wait and see.”
“I don’t really have a lot to say about today! I would like to thank my crew for the fantastic job they did at lunchtime today when they changed an engine in about 25 minutes, which was great work. It has been hard work on the bike today as we tried to find the best solutions for here but we are still struggling a bit. We have a couple of issues to still sort out, but things were better this afternoon compared to this morning. Overall the situation does not look too good, but we are here to fight as hard as we can and we will continue to do our best tomorrow, it won’t be easy but we will be trying!”
Paul Denning – Team Manager:
“The issues we suffered from at Sachsenring last weekend have unfortunately transferred over to this weekend and we have been unable to give either rider a package to enable them to push to their maximum level. The team has done a good job today to try to overcome the problems and particularly on Loris’s side I must say ‘well-done’ on such a great job to change the bike completely between sessions. Those changes improved some areas but it hasn’t reflected significantly on the stopwatch or the grid positions. We’ll keep pushing hard and do everything we can to give the riders a better package tomorrow.”