Rizla Suzuki and the rest of the MotoGP paddock will be back in action this coming weekend for the latest exciting episode in the 2009 MotoGP calendar as the series moves to Estoril in Portugal for round 14.
Loris Capirossi and Chris Vermeulen will be looking to continue with the improvement in form that was shown on race-day at Misano in Italy three weeks ago, as they attack the 4,182m Portuguese circuit from Friday onwards. Recent engine and chassis upgrades have both made a positive difference to the performance of the Suzuki GSV-R, and Capirossi and Vermeulen will both be striving to find the maximum potential from the new specification to enable them to perform at the maximum of their own abilities.
The Autodromo Fernanda Pires da Silva circuit features a kilometre-long straight, one of the slowest sections of the year and two ultra-fast corners, all combining to make this one of the most contrasting tracks on the calendar. Situated on a rocky plateau near the village of Alcabideche high above the city of Estoril, and only a few kilometres from the Atlantic ocean, the chances of ever-changing weather is always likely and with strong winds gusting of the ocean it can get a bit breezy, bikes have even been known to be blown off the track!
Rizla Suzuki will get into action on Friday afternoon for the first free practice session, followed by a second free session on Saturday morning. Grid position will be decided in an afternoon hour-long qualifying session on Saturday to determine where the riders line-up for Sunday’s 28-lap race, which gets underway at 13.00hrs local time (12.00hrs GMT).
“We had a good result last time out at Misano, but we still want more. The factory has been working hard recently and we have showed big improvements and we need to keep that going for the rest of the year and carry it through the winter and into 2010 I’ve had a couple of podiums at Estoril as well as a pole position start and I’d really like to add to that this weekend, we know it will be tough, but we need to believe in ourselves and try to take that next step.”
“I can’t wait to get back on the bike again after the short break we’ve had, I feel fully refreshed and totally focused on the rest of the season. Estoril is a tough track for us, but with the changes we’ve made recently I’m hoping that will point us in a new direction. I’ve had a couple of top-10 finishes there and although they are not the sort of results I would like, they have all been hard battles and I’ve learnt a lot more each time. I’m really looking forward to the weekend and will be doing all I can to push the bike up towards the front.”