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Suzuki riders improve on final night

The Qatar night test began worryingly for Rizla Suzuki with Loris Capirossi and Alvaro Bautista only eleventh and 17th, out of the 17 riders - but both then made significant strides forward during their last chance for track time before the start of the new racing season.

Capirossi, who had also struggled with sickness on the first night, cut 0.9sec from his best lap time to claim a competitive fifth place on the final night, good enough for sixth overall on combined times.

The Italian, who will make his 300th grand prix start at the 2010 Qatar season-opener on April 11, set a best lap time 0.8sec behind fastest man Casey Stoner (Ducati) and but less than 0.32sec from third place Andrea Dovizioso (Honda).

“It has been quite positive and we have improved quite a lot from Thursday,” he confirmed. “During yesterday's test I was so bad that I was quite sick, but today I was nearly 100% and able to try many things on the bike. It is easy to see that we have improved here compared to last year.

“On the long run at the end I was not too happy because it was not so good, but the conditions were quite bad by then so I don't really care about that. The track got very humid and I didn't want to push too hard and risk crashing. In three weeks we are here again and I didn't want to be injured for that.

“We hope that we will have a great opportunity this season because everyone is working really hard. I am so happy to still be with Rizla Suzuki and overall - although we know we still need to improve a little bit - we have done a good job so far this year,” he concluded.

Rookie Bautista upped his pace by 1.062sec during the second night for twelfth position on the timesheets. The young Spaniard lapped within 0.71sec of Capirossi and was ahead of MotoGP race winners Dani Pedrosa and Marco Melandri, plus the three other graduates from last season's 250cc World Championship.

“Today has been a lot more positive than yesterday, because on Thursday we had a lot of other things to do and never really got much done in the test,” he explained. “Today I could concentrate just on riding and during the first time out I felt more comfortable than at any time yesterday. I improved my lap-time by more than one second and also my riding was much better.

“We tried different settings for geometry and suspension, for both the front and rear of the bike and think that we have a good base set-up for the race already. At the end I tried to do a long run and did 15 laps, but after a full day riding I was a bit tired! I am happy because I am improving every time and I now know I am ready to race!”

Team manager Paul Denning believes the results of the test indicate that the 2010 GSV-R will be less temperature sensitive than last year's machine.

“Suzuki has been working very hard to improve the consistency of the bike and without question there has been some progress in that direction,” he stated. “That said, we have still got a lot of work to do to close the gap, but to end the test with Loris in the top six and Alvaro the fastest of last year's 250cc riders is a good sign - particularly as Qatar is a track that has never been too kind to us in the past!”

The Qatar Grand Prix takes place from April 9-11.

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jkd - Unregistered

March 22, 2010 12:18 PM

Oh come on, people. Spies had 4 starts in MotoGP races before, Espargaro as well. None of the other rookies have, nor have they ridden a similar kind of bike competitively before(bar Simoncelli's stint to WSBK). Therefore Bautista is indeed the best "real rookie" of this test. Will it ever be possible not to make every single comment section about Spies and instead comment on what the articles in question are actually about? Anyhow, seems like the Suzukis are still a step away from the top, but hopefully they will at least maintain their current level and maybe we'll see some more interesting fights this year. Roll on Qatar!


March 22, 2010 9:12 AM

i'll admit to being one of the doubters of the new bike, but i would love to see Loris do well, and another competitive bike on the grid can only be a good thing. i just hope that suzuki aren't flattering to deceive and they can't get anything else from the bike.

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