News 7 Nov 2009

MotoGP: Suzuki runners struggle for speed in Valencia practice


Rizla Suzuki’s Loris Capirossi finished the final Friday practice of the 2009 MotoGP season in ninth position at Valencia in Spain today.

Capirossi (P9, 1’34.427, 28 laps) suffered with some set-up issues in the hour-long session causing him some vibration on his Suzuki GSV-R. Loris and his crew didn’t have time to resolve the matter completely and will now look at the data overnight to see where the changes can be made to improve further.

Chris Vermeulen (P16, 1’35.131, 26 laps) has been suffering with a heavy cold since arriving in Valencia and it didn’t help him today as he found himself sneezing and coughing inside his helmet as he rode his machine around the 4,005m Spanish circuit. If he can shake off his sickness, Vermeulen will undoubtedly be higher up the leader-board as the weekend progresses.

With a cool wind blowing over the track today the surface temperature only got up to 17ºC, despite pleasant overhead autumnal sunshine. Ducati’s Casey Stoner set the fastest time of the day.

Capirossi and Vermeulen have one more free practice session tomorrow morning, before the qualifying session to determine grid positions for Sunday’s event takes place in the afternoon. The final race of the 2009 season gets underway at 14.00hrs local time (13.00hrs GMT) On Sunday 8th November.

Loris Capirossi:

“We had a bit of vibration from the bike today and with only an hour of practice we struggled to find enough time to get the best solution to fix it. We did a couple of setting changes to try and improve it and in the end we found a good situation, but it is still not perfect. We have to look at the data to find out what is causing the vibration and try to improve things for tomorrow. I am sure if we can get things right we can be very fast here and have a good end to the season!”

Chris Vermeulen:

“It’s been quite cold here in Valencia today and at start of the session I found it quite difficult to get heat into the tyres, which meant I couldn’t get them working as well as I would have liked. After we overcame that the bike worked quite well and I started to make my way up the timesheets. We made a lot of progress throughout the session even though we came across a couple of issues that made me to lose a bit of track time and possibly caused me to miss out on the period in the session where I could have got my best lap-time. I think we’ll be able to get things spot-on for tomorrow and go a lot quicker than we did today. I’ve not been feeling too good this week, but hopefully all’s well that ends well and I can get over it quickly and be back on the pace in time for the race.”

Paul Denning – Team Manager:

“Loris was very quick in the dry in Sepang last time out and the base geometry we found there hasn’t transferred quite as well to the colder conditions in Valencia this afternoon. The gap to the front group is not too bad and if we can improve the feedback and feeling from the front of the bike for Loris then the lap-time will come much easier.

“The main thing for Chris seems to be to get him over the cold he is suffering from – it must be difficult to hit the apexes when you are coughing so hard your eyes are closing! There weren’t so many changes to Chris’s bike during the course of the session and the balance doesn’t look too bad, so if his condition improves tomorrow than I think we can anticipate a big step forward. Both the guys also only used one set of tyres for the whole session, whereas some of the other riders changed to the harder rear in the latter stages and found some lap-time. Overall we are hoping for better things on Saturday and a good end to the 2009 season.”