20 November 2007
Suzuki couldn't wait for 2008...
"It's great working with Loris," said Vermeulen. "I got along great with John and I'm sure it'll be the same with Loris. We're sharing information and ideas. Everything is going really well."
"Loris has very much lived up to our expectations," said Denning of the nine-times 500cc/MotoGP race winner, aiming to make a new start after a tough fifth and final year on a Desmosedici. "He's done a huge amount of laps and is, I think, riding with a margin left. He's not hunting for a lap time but seeking to understand the bike. Nevertheless he's lapped faster on our bike than he did during the race weekend on the Ducati. We've no complaints. He's definitely got a huge amount of motivation and seems to enjoy the way the team is working.
"Loris has got so much experience that, technically, it's interesting the amount he's bringing to the party," Denning continued. "He's quite detailed in his analysis, very much like Chris is, so they're quite a good match. They are already working together and talking a lot. They're both very hard racers, and have had a lot of close races together over the last year or two, but I think they'll help each other quite a lot as team-mates, and then go at it hammer and tongs in the races. They've got very similar ideas on what the bike needs to make it better, so that's also going to help."
Suzuki finished the first of the three Sepang winter tests with Vermeulen fifth and Capirossi a closely-matched sixth. Honda's Nicky Hayden was 1.9secs faster than the GSV-R duo, but set his record-breaking time using a qualifying tyre on last season's machine.
"Nobody is going to score points at this test. Both the guys seem very focussed on real testing and really understanding the bike, I think that's going to be the most important thing come the first race," said Denning. "We're looking forward to the race season and making sure we have the best package possible for then.
"I'd say we've achieved as much, if not more, than we expected in terms of understanding the new bike, making reasonably good performance with it and developing some new strategies and ideas that are going to help next season. I couldn't be happier, a really good test."
Meanwhile, former World Supersport champion Vermeulen, preparing to enter his third MotoGP season in 2008, is working towards only one goal.
"Obviously the ultimate target is to win the world championship next year," declared the 25-year-old. "But that also depends on the other teams. We'll have to see how it goes..."
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