Positive signs for Rizla Suzuki in the Netherlands
MotoGP World Championship
Rizla Suzuki MotoGP has shaken off the blues from Silverstone last week and started this weekend's Dutch TT at Assen on a more positive note.
Loris Capirossi (P13, 1'36.786, 27 laps) and Alvaro Bautista (P15, 1'37.384, 25 laps) both used the information they had from Silverstone to good effect as they set about closing the time gap between themselves and the rest of the pack. Capirossi's team made fundamental changes to his Suzuki GSV-R and he was able to reap the benefits as his lap times improved and the team were able to see a clear direction to go for the rest of the weekend.
Alvaro Bautista is still struggling with his shoulder injury, especially on the physically demanding 4,542m Assen circuit. He did improve both his bike's setting and his lap-times during the session and is confident that the stronger he gets, the quicker he will get.
Today's' practice was held in dry and sunny conditions with air temperatures getting up to 27 degrees C, helping to generate more grip for both Rizla Suzuki riders as the track temperature rose to 44 degrees C. World Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo set the quickest time of the day.
Rizla Suzuki has one more practice session tomorrow morning, followed by qualifying in the afternoon. The 80th running of the Dutch TT takes place on Saturday 26th June at 14.00hrs local time (12.00hrs GMT).
"The temperature has been much warmer here and we have started to use a different setting to make the tyre work for us. We have got a better feeling today, but it still needs to improve a bit. We used a shorter bike today than usual to try and get more grip on the back and this did help. Tomorrow we will try to make the bike go a bit quicker overall, because at some points we are struggling. We were also a bit too soft on the spring so we will change that for tomorrow. I am much happier than I was in Silverstone, my position is not so good today, but I know we can improve a lot!"
"We started with the same setting that we finished with at Silverstone to try and get more grip on the back and I think we still need to work quite hard because I don't have a good feeling in the front, so we must improve on this. This track is harder and more demanding to ride than last week for my shoulder. I still need a more strength and I feel a bit more tired than I did in Silverstone. After some more practice - and with the bike getting better - It should be less effort to ride and I will be able to improve my times. We still have to work hard and do our best step-by-step."
Paul Denning - Team Manager:
"Given how far away we were at Silverstone and the extreme difficulty faced that weekend, the first hour of running here at Assen has been a lot more positive. The lap-time and the consistency is a lot closer to the group from fifth to tenth position, which is where we believe Loris and the bike can be, as we strive to rebuild our season. We've had to take a different direction here, so the bike has at the moment, a different feeling for both riders. That being the case, we should be able to take some significant steps tomorrow and improve our potential. The feeling in the camp is certainly more positive than it was last weekend and we're looking to get our season going here in Assen!"
Tim TT Assen Free Practice Classification: 1. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1'35.169: 2. Casey Stoner (Ducati) +0.011: 3. Nicky Hayden (Ducati) +0.517: 4. Colin Edwards (Yamaha) +0.530: 5. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) +0.699: 13. LORIS CAPIROSSI (RIZLA SUZUKI MOTOGP) +1.617: 15. ALVARO BAUTISTA (RIZLA SUZUKI MOTOGP) +2.215:
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