Loris Capirossi came within one lap of scoring Rizla Suzuki's best result of the 2009 MotoGP season, only for young compatriot Andrea Dovizioso to snatch fourth place back on the very last lap.
"I am very disappointed and quite upset to lose fourth place on the last lap, I think we deserved it and it would have been a great result for the whole team, Suzuki and all the sponsors,” said Loris, after his fourth fifth-position of the season. “Dovizioso was a little bit faster than me on the last lap and although I tried to close the door he overtook me quite fast. I tried to get him back but just didn't do it.”
Despite the defeat, team manager Paul Denning was pleased to see the GSV-R fighting tooth-and-nail with a 2009 race winner, even if the top three riders - Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) and Dani Pedrosa (Honda) - were once again in a class of their own.
"We came very close to our best result of the year - but it wasn't quite to be!” began Denning. “It's true that three very capable riders went down in the second turn, but without doubt we had the pace to finish in the top five irrespective of that.
“Whilst the 'aliens' at the very front were beyond us, to be battling with a GP winner like Dovizioso on a factory Honda shows that step-by-step our potential is improving.”
Team-mate Chris Vermeulen was a victim of the second turn lap pile-up and finished the first lap in eleventh, before claiming ninth at the flag.
"I got a good start and got past the whole row in front of me - including Loris - but then I was really close to the incident and everyone went so slowly all of a sudden,” recalled the Australian.
“I went to select first gear and got neutral instead - so that really slowed me down. Then I ran over Colin's mudguard and lost a lot of momentum which allowed a lot of guys to get back past me.
“Espargaro was going well in front of me and it made it difficult for me to get past him and get some consistent lap-times. Once I got past him my speed was quick and good enough for the top-five. It's the same old thing though, we need to qualify better and get closer to the front and make life a bit easier.”