Having left Qatar with only a seventh place finish to show for its efforts, Rizla Suzuki MotoGP heads to the factory's home race at Motegi eager to prove the 2009 GSV-R's potential.
After an impressive pre-season, hopes were high of a potential podium challenge by Loris Capirossi and Chris Vermeulen at Losail, but only Vermeulen reached the flag after Capirossi crashed out of fifth on lap eight.
Like many riders, Capirossi and Vermeulen experienced unexpected handling problems during the rain-delayed night race, throwing a further element of uncertainty ahead of this weekend's race - the first of the single-tyre era to be held at a track without pre-season testing.
But Capirossi has plenty of Motegi experience and, having been unbeaten at the track as a Ducati rider from 2005-2007, is determined to prove that the new GSV-R is a machine Suzuki can be proud of.
"After what happened in Qatar, we now go to a track that I know well and have had lots of good times at. I was very disappointed at Losail but that race has gone now and we have had time to see what happened,” said Loris.
“I hope I can have a very good result in Japan for the Suzuki guys that have put in all the hard work in the winter to give us a bike that we can now be competitive on.
“I have won here before and want to do it again, so I will be making sure we get everything right for race-day to give us the best possible chance of achieving that,” added the #65, who qualified and finished sixth at Motegi last September.
Vermeulen meanwhile has finished no higher than eleventh in past Motegi events.
"It is really important to get back on the bike as soon as possible and try to rectify the issues we had in the race at Qatar. The bike was working well all weekend, but it seemed to feel very different in the race,” confirmed Chris.
“The factory has been working hard since then and there will be a lot of extra staff at the race in Motegi so we won't be short of a helping hand! I really want to give Suzuki a good result at its home grand prix and I am sure that we will this year.
“I am looking forward to going there as I really enjoy racing in Japan and will be doing my best to get the bike on the podium,” he concluded.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of Suzuki opening for business as a loom works in 1909.