If Suzuki wants to finish on the 2009 MotoGP podium then they will have to provide a stronger engine for the GSV-R - that was the message, politely put, by Loris Capirossi after the Italian's fiery performance in Sunday's Italian Grand Prix.

After qualifying third on the grid and dropping back to eighth in the wet, Capirossi rode 'like an animal' to fight forwards after pitting for his dry weather bike on lap 9 of 23.

The Italian had been tenth after his pit stop, but - aided by a quick out lap - stormed up to third by lap 12, then took second by lap 14.

That left only Casey Stoner standing between Capirossi and the GSV-R's second ever MotoGP race win - and Capirossi sensationally took the lead from the Ducati rider on lap 15.

Stoner was back in front by the end of the lap, but an increasingly vulnerable Capirossi clung to second place until two laps from the finish, when Fiat Yamaha riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi burst past.

Capirossi then lost a further position to compatriot Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) on the final lap, leaving him fifth at the chequered flag - and under no illusions as to what he needs from Suzuki to stay at the front.

"I tried my best today and we nearly got the result the whole team deserved," said Loris. "When I came in to change my bike I was quick immediately and I tried to catch Casey. When I did, I thought I'd done a good job to get there but from then it was very difficult to stay with him and keep a distance from the guys behind.

"We now need a lot of help from Suzuki, because on the straight it is difficult to follow and stay with the faster guys - and this is what is limiting us at the moment," he declared.

Suzuki had been the slowest of the five MotoGP manufacturers on top speed all weekend and Capirossi must now hope that the rumoured new engine is ready for the Catalan Grand Prix on June 14.

Team manager Paul Denning, after paying tribute to Capirossi's brave effort, acknowledged that the top speed deficit was too much for Capirossi to overcome, but was unable to give a firm commitment regarding the new engine.

"Loris rode like an animal and timed his pit-stop to perfection, but what really allowed him to challenge the front group was the speed of his in and out laps - the commitment he made on the new slicks dragged him right up to the leaders," said Denning, referring to the fact that Capirossi's out lap - with medium slicks front and rear - was quicker than everyone except race winner Stoner.

"He managed to lead his home GP and right up until two laps from the end the podium was within his grasp. Ultimately though, the length of the Mugello straight, and the speed of our competitors, made it impossible to hold them off. Nonetheless, only three seconds from the win and a second off the podium is a result Loris can be proud of.

"I am convinced he got every last bit of performance out of the GSV-R today. Hopefully we can give him more from the package shortly so he can compete even more strongly," he said.

But Capirossi wasn't the only Suzuki rider to lead on Sunday - wet weather master Chris Vermeulen lead the 17-rider field at the end of the opening lap.

However, the Australian, who had struggled in the dry all weekend, slipped back to twelfth as the conditions improved - before overtaking Nicky Hayden (Ducati) and Marco Melandri (Hayate) in the closing stages.

"I had a good start and everyone braked early for the first corner and that allowed me to take a wider line where it was a bit drier and I got through into second," explained Chris. "A couple of corners later I moved into first and everything felt quite good while the track was wet, but as it started to dry out I struggled a bit with entry grip on the rear.

"I rode as hard as I could to try and stay with the front guys. I waited for a lap or two to come in and change bikes and I think I did it at the just the right time, but then I struggled to get enough heat into the slick tyres [medium compound front and rear].

"I did as much as I could and got past a couple of guys right at the end and brought the bike home in 10th - obviously we were hoping for a bit better," he admitted

"Chris made an amazing start and was very aggressive in fighting his way to the front, and also timed it right for his pit-stop," said Denning. "Unfortunately he was unable to generate anything like the grip that Loris did on the slicks and that cost him in the earlier dry laps. Chris did well to keep the bike upright and score some decent points."