Suzuki is turning its attentions to 2010 after failing to score a single podium finish over the course of a MotoGP season for the first time since 2004.
Both Loris Capirossi
and Chris Vermeulen
struggled for form around the Comunitat Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia with both riders qualifying and finishing outside the top ten.
Blaming cool conditions for the GSV-R's lack of grip, Capirossi's 14th place finish would see him slip from seventh to ninth in the overall standings, one position higher than he managed in 2008, but with a best result of only fifth.
“Before we got to Valencia our expectation was that it would be a bit tough here as the conditions would be quite cold and everything we expected seems to have come true,” he said. ”It was difficult in the practice as we tried to find a good setting, but just never got the feeling we wanted. I chose the softer tyre today, even though I didn't have a good feeling in that – so you can imagine how difficult the hard one would have been to use!
“At the start of the race when the tyre was new everything felt not too bad and I tried to follow some guys , but as the grip levels dropped down I didn't have complete control over the bike and struggled even more. I tried to defend my position but it felt like everyone could get past me, so all I did was try to make sure I finished the race.
“This result is not good for me, the team and Suzuki, because we try to work hard and we really want to have a result – so this feeling is not good.
“Thankfully, the good thing we have as a team is that we are strong inside and we know what our target is. We want to make sure we break everybody's balls so that we can get to the front and we have to do it next year, because like this is just not good enough!”
A world away from the promising form the team showed during pre-season testing, Suzuki was the only manufacturer in 2009 – including Hayate - not to climb on the podium. Nonetheless, with Alvaro Bautista's arrival signalling a revised line-up for 2010, team manager Paul Denning is confident the team will turn around its fortunes, starting with testing this week.
“I have nothing to say about today's race! The 2010 season starts tomorrow and our huge differential in performance in low-grip conditions is clear for all to see. To get the consistency in the bike is the highest priority and along with Alvaro taking his first steps as a MotoGP rider tomorrow, our target is very clear.
“I'd like to thank Loris for riding at 100% all season and for being such a fantastic team player, the team will be doing everything in its power to push the Suzuki factory to give him the bike in 2010 that his efforts deserve.”