Loris Capirossi matched his and Suzuki's best finish of the season so far with fifth place in Sunday's Grand Prix of Catalunya.

The Italian had repeated the position in his home grand prix two weeks' before, but found the Spanish result more satisfying due to the effort required on and off track to improve on his lowly eleventh in qualifying.

"This was the same position as Mugello, but this is a different one because we have worked so hard to get this and it is a great result," declared Loris. "All the team - especially Stuart - have worked so hard to get us where we are today.

"After qualifying I didn't feel that the bike was quite right and Stuart worked with the guys until late to find a solution. He told me that he was going to make big changes for the race and we tried it during this morning's warm-up and the bike felt really good.

"During the race I kept my rhythm after a good start and when I got close to Pedrosa I lost some time off the front guys because his bike was so fast in some places I couldn't get past, and he held me up a bit.

"If I hadn't got stuck for a few laps I think I could have stayed with the next group and got a better result. I want to say a big thank-you to Suzuki because they have brought a new engine here and it was an improvement on the old one - I think if I'd had that engine in Mugello I'd have been on the podium!"

Team manager Paul Denning agreed that the engine upgrades had helped, but couldn't help thinking what might have been had the successful set-up been found earlier in the weekend.

"Stuart and the boys turned the bike upside down for warm-up this morning and we gave Loris a much stronger motorcycle, and he was able to use its full potential as he rode a fantastic race. I think if we'd started with that bike on Friday we could have pushed for a better result," said Denning. "The new engine specification definitely helped, and although the difference isn't big, it's enough to have a significant bearing on the end result. So I'd like to say thanks to the Factory for speeding up the development and delivering it to Catalunya this weekend."

Team-mate Chris Vermeulen had a less successful day, dropping from twelfth to 16th early on before working his way through to eleventh.

"It was a difficult race and although I got a good start I got a bit boxed in and found myself at the wrong end of the field," he explained. "We made a change to the front-end of the bike for the race and that was a bit better and it gave me the confidence to push a bit harder. We did score some points today, but it is not where we want to be. We now to some tracks that have been good for us in recent seasons so I hope we get a bit of luck there and put together some good results."

Rizla Suzuki will return to the track for testing on Monday.