News 25 Jul 2009

MotoGP: Weather spoils opening day at Donington for Suzuki


Rizla Suzuki’s first day race preparations were forced to take a back seat this afternoon as the British summertime weather intervened at Donington Park.

Loris Capirossi (P11, 1’40.419, 25 laps) was left frustrated at the lack of dry track time today, something that he knows is vital in getting the GSV-R ready for Sunday’s race. He is still confident though that if tomorrow stays fine he will be able to get the bike prepared and competitive for Sunday’s 30-lap race.

A huge rain storm shortly before the start of the hour-long session left the 4,023m circuit very wet with many areas of standing water, but as the wind dried the track out it made using the correct tyre and making any in-roads into getting good data very difficult. Chris Vermeulen (P14, 1’41.467, 22 laps) was able to use the very wettest part of the session to the full and was pleased with the progress he made in finding a good set-up for his Suzuki GSV-R if the conditions are similar on race-day.

Rizla Suzuki has already had a successful time at the British GP due to a team representing the squad taking first place in the ‘Question of Bikes’ competition that was part of the ‘Riders for Health Day of Champions’ yesterday. Three members of the Rizla Suzuki team competed against other teams in the quiz held on the main stage, before returning triumphant for the second year in succession. Rizla Suzuki also presented a cheque to ‘Riders for Health’ for €7500, donated by Suzuki Germany from the sale of a replica Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000. The team also contributed to the money raised by offering a VIP experience for this weekend’s British MotoGP during the auction at Donington last night. This was sold for €8,800 to Graham Rees and helped boost the overall figures for the charity that stood at €205,135 at the end of the event.

Rizla Suzuki MotoGP will be back in action on-track tomorrow morning for the final free practice session, followed by qualifying in the afternoon. The race will start at the later time this Sunday, as the Rizla Suzuki riders and the whole field will wait for the lights to change to signal the off at 15.30 local time (14.30 GMT).

Loris Capirossi:

“As I have said before, we need to have time on the bike to get it set-up the best for us. It seems that we keep getting really difficult weather that isn’t helping us at all. Today we used a wet tyre for the whole session and at the end 85% of the track was dry and the rest was wet so it was difficult to be able to get anything done. We can hope that the weather is better tomorrow so we can work on the bike and if we can I am sure we will be in a good position for Sunday.”

Chris Vermeulen:

“It was really strange conditions out there today, but I guess you could say that is just normal British weather! We had a huge downpour at the start of the session and the track was very wet and quite slippery. We worked hard – and quickly – on getting a good wet setting while the track was still wet and the bike worked well in those conditions. At the end the track dried a lot so we just tested some small things that didn’t really rely on fast lap-times, which was useful because with how the track was there wasn’t a lot else to be learnt out there. At the end I came in a bit early because the track had dried out in most places, but there was still a couple of wet patches and it seemed a bit too dangerous for slicks.”

Paul Denning – Team Manager:

“I don’t think that there will be much that any rider or team will have learned from that session with the weather changing so much over the hour For most of the session neither the wet nor the slick tyre was the appropriate choice. Having said that, when the track was at its wettest Chris was able to take a big step with the bike setting and Loris also managed to get a feel and some essential data from his machine.”