Loris Capirossi gave Rizla Suzuki something to smile about following the opening MotoGP test of the year at Sepang after the Italian set the sixth fastest lap time.
Coming a year after Capirossi raised eyebrows with his pace around the Malaysian circuit aboard the Suzuki GSV-R, the MotoGP veteran was once again on form during day one to end the session fourth quickest.
Although a detailed testing programme ensured he wouldn't improve on day two, Capirossi was still able to end the test with the sixth best lap time overall.
With more parts to come between now and the start of the new season, Capirossi is encouraged by the 2010 bike's pace out of the box.
“I was quite happy with the lap-time and the consistent rhythm on the first day, because we know there is still a lot to come from the factory for this year's bike,” he said. “We were able to test two new chassis and we are now much clearer on our direction to improve more. I go to the Suzuki Factory before the next test, so I will be able to give some more direct feedback to the engineering group.
“I got quite frustrated on the final day, because I always want to go quicker and the work was really detailed stuff - but we have to improve the bike so I have to do it! I am excited for the next test to see what our guys can come up with, including the new engine spec, and I want to keep improving.”
On the other side of the garage, new team-mate Alvaro Bautista spent the two days getting better acquainted with MotoGP machinery having graduated from the 250cc class, admitting that he feels as though he is having to learn to ride all over again.
“It was a good test and I managed to learn a lot,” said the Spaniard, who ended the test just over a second slower than Capirossi. “This was my first time here on the MotoGP bike after a long time without riding, and it was amazing how much faster everything seemed to happen compared to the 250!
“Day one just felt like starting all over again! I made steps with my speed and it was a shame we lost some practice this morning due to the rain, but even with this the team improved the feeling of the bike a lot and now I think I can start to push more.
“I am now looking forward to the next test and we certainly have a good base, and I feel ready to work when we get back to Sepang later this month.”