Rizla Suzuki racers Loris Capirossi and Chris Vermeulen have a mountain to climb in Sunday's season-ending Valencia Grand Prix after cold and windy conditions left the pair just 13th and 18th in qualifying.
“This is starting to feel normal for us because when we look at the data from the bike, always, always, always when it is cold it is nearly impossible to ride it and this is true again today,” said Capirossi. “It is very cold today and the bike is not making the tyre work well and we have struggled a lot. What is most important now is that we work 100% on the 2010 bike, because finding the solutions at the moment for this bike is not very easy.”
But 2010 improvements will come too late for Vermeulen, who is switching to World Superbike after Sunday's race.
“I'm not happy to be qualifying in 18th and it has been a difficult weekend for us so far,” said the 2007 Le Mans winner, who will line-up in last place for the race. “We just can't get a good feeling from the bike in these cold temperatures and the wind seems to be upsetting the bike a lot. It is difficult to get the tyres warm and although we've improved the bike, it is nowhere near enough.”
Team manager Paul Denning absolved his riders and team of blame for the poor results.
“The result today is so disappointing and doesn't reflect at all on the efforts and hard work of the team and riders,” he said. “The trend of the bike simply not working well in colder and – in today's case – much windier conditions has continued and I have say that the bike didn't look at all pleasant to ride out there today. Suzuki has work to do to improve this situation and next week's test and the start of preparations for 2010 can't come soon enough.”