Despite hopes of a change in fortune, Suzuki's Phillip Island curse continued at the 2009 Australian MotoGP.

The GSV-R has taken only one top six finish since its 2002 debut down under - a second place by Chris Vermeulen in the wet 2006 event - but the mainly dry 2009 weekend saw no Suzuki rider higher than tenth in any track session.

To make matters worse, top qualifier Loris Capirossi was demoted from 13th to the back of the grid when he became the first victim of the new MotoGP engine change limit - which restricts each rider to five engines for the final seven rounds. As required, Suzuki was also handed a ten point penalty in the constructors' championship.

Capirossi admitted it didn't really make much difference to his race, the last part of which was spent battling team-mate Vermeulen for eleventh - a contest the Australian won by just over half a second.

"It's easy to say that today has been tough, but really we have struggled all weekend and never found the best solution," said Loris. "We also had an engine problem in the warm-up and that forced us to start on the back of the grid, but that was no big problem.

"I just didn't have any feeling in the bike in the first five or six laps, so that was a nightmare for me. I caught up with Chris and we had a bit of a battle, but I couldn't get past him.

"Overall this race track is very difficult for us and I think we need to forget this weekend because we tried as hard as we could and got nothing from it.

"I hope we will have a better weekend in Sepang because we really need a good result, but we also need to fix why things have been so bad here," he warned.

For Vermeulen it was his last home grand prix before returning to the World Superbike Championship in 2010.

"We went with the harder rear tyre, but in the first few laps we lost a lot of time as it took a lot to warm it," said Chris, who had qualified just 15th.

"I was struggling, but then I had Loris on my tail for the rest of the race, so at least that gave us something to fight for.

"Obviously we haven't taken the step forward here that we wanted to, but hopefully it will be a lot better at Sepang."

Team manager Paul Denning admitted the flight to Malaysia can't come soon enough.

"There's nothing positive to be said about the performance here today and frankly speaking we only inherited 11th and 12th through the misfortune of others," said the Englishman.

"I'd like to thank both the riders for keeping their heads down and trying as hard as they did in such difficult circumstances.

"The trip to Sepang can't come quickly enough and we'll be going there with an upbeat attitude to get things back in the right direction as quickly as possible."

Australia is where the British version of the hit reality TV show I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! is filmed.

Comments

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register to add your comment