MotoGP veteran Loris Capirossi has hit out at the increasingly stringent MotoGP testing ban, which he thinks is making it harder for Suzuki to improve its motorcycle.
The Italian finished the Valencia test, the final day of official 2009 track action, having reduced his lap time by several tenths - but was still 1.5sec from the top and admitted that Suzuki needs around one second.
Capirossi was riding with new engine parts, exhaust and aerodynamic parts, plus electronic developments.
“The new stuff that has come to the test has been pretty interesting and the improvements to the engine are not too bad. The new cowling and pipes have both made some steps and overall we have improved by a few tenths on the lap-time,” said Loris, who was eighth out of the reduced twelve riders on Wednesday.
“We really need to find about a second though and it makes me very upset that the rules have changed so much that we now can't test until February. For me this does not help the championship because we need more tests to a make the bike more competitive,” Capirossi explained.
The opposing view, as expressed by the likes of Herve Poncharal, is that (expensive) extra testing makes all
bikes faster, and doesn't have a huge impact on relative positions once a base set-up has been found.
Either way, whilst rookie team-mate Alvaro Bautista will get an extra test at Estoril next week (with the other 2010 newcomers getting the chance to ride at Sepang in December) Capirossi won't be back on a GSV-R until February.
As a result, he can only hope that Suzuki will have enough information to make the improvements needed to turn the GSV-R back into a podium contender, after failing to claim a rostrum for the first time since 2004 this season.
“We will have a new bike in February and I hope it works well straight away because I know Suzuki is working really hard – I know that because they have come here with many things,” said Loris.
Team manager Paul Denning believes the team are heading in the right direction.
“These three days have been a good start towards the target of significantly improving Suzuki's level in MotoGP in 2010,” he said. “There haven't been any fundamental changes to the bike here; those will come in February at Sepang, but the detailed work that Loris has completed, especially with the Akrapovic exhaust systems, new engine specifications and aerodynamics have made the bike easier and more consistent to ride. The lap-time isn't spectacular, but it is a lot closer to the top group than it was during the race weekend so some progress has certainly been made.”
Capirossi's best test lap was 0.676sec inside his best race lap. Unfortunately, the fastest riders at the test - Casey Stoner (Ducati), Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) and Dani Pedrosa (Honda) - all improved on the fastest race lap by a greater amount.
Rookie Bautista finished his first test eleventh on the final day, with a best lap time a creditable 0.699sec behind Capirossi.