Rizla Suzuki’s Loris Capirossi recorded the seventh quickest time at a rain-soaked Indianapolis today as the MotoGP field began testing for this weekend’s race.
Capirossi (1’52.928, 19 laps) used the wet track to full advantage as he was able to evaluate the new parts that were tested at Brno recently in completely different conditions. He set his quickest time on his penultimate lap of the session as he improved throughout the hour. Unfortunately for Capirossi, his session came to an abrupt halt as he high-sided his bike towards the end; he was uninjured and will be ok for tomorrow.
Chris Vermeulen (P12, 1’54.554, 20 laps) tried a new setting on his bike at the start of the practice, but had to come in to the pit-box early on to make some significant changes to the Suzuki GSV-R, causing him to lose valuable track-time. He continued to make several modifications to his bike and was quite satisfied that he has a good setting for Sunday’s race if conditions are similar to today.
The weather intervened just before the start of this afternoon’s session and heavy rain fell over the 4,216m Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Track and air temperatures were both in the mid 20ºCs as the rain cooled the surface dramatically from early warm and sunny conditions. Today’s fastest time was set by Dani Pedrosa on a factory Honda.
Rizla Suzuki has one more free session tomorrow morning, followed by an hour of qualifying in the afternoon. Sunday’s 28-lap race gets underway at 15.00hrs local time (19.00hrs GMT).
“It has been a quite positive day because we were able test the new chassis in the wet and the reaction was good straight away. I crashed right at the end of the session when I hit a big puddle of water and high-sided, but I am ok. I felt good on the bike today and that is very encouraging. From my point of view I really want some good weather for the rest of the weekend because I don’t like riding in the rain and for us it will be better to work on the bike in the dry.”
“We tried something different at the start, but the setting just didn’t work, I came straight in to get it sorted and we lost quite a bit of time as we made the changes. In the wettest part of the session the bike worked quite well and my lap-times in those conditions were quite good. Towards the end we made some fine-tune adjustments but I didn’t get a clear lap in to improve my time. I am quite happy with the bike, but we do still have a bit of work to do to get it spot-on in the very wet conditions. I am feeling quite positive and looking forward to getting back out there tomorrow – hopefully in the dry.”
Paul Denning – Team Manager:
“After a successful test at Brno with some of the new stuff that Suzuki had introduced, it was good to be able to test them at a completely different circuit and in such different conditions today. Loris has struggled to be competitive in the rain all year, but the bike was much better here and he set his best lap in the later part of the session when the conditions were less favourable. He was fortunate that he is completely ok after his high-side and his attitude is totally positive about the direction Suzuki has taken for the future.
“It is quite usual to see Chris near the front in the wet, but that wasn’t quite the case today. His guys improved the bike throughout the course of the session and we’re convinced that if we have to race in these conditions on Sunday he will be competitive. That said, the fans at Indianapolis deserve better than to sit in the rain and we hope that the sun comes out and this venue can experience MotoGP bikes being ridden to the maximum.”