Rizla Suzuki's torrid season continued at Assen on Saturday when Loris Capirossi and Alvaro Bautista finished 13th and 14th - and ahead of only stand-in rider Kousuke Akiyoshi.

Suzuki's situation can be illustrated by the following stats - note that the faster Ruskenhoek turn explains why Assen was so much quicker than last year:

o The top Yamaha at Assen 2010 (race winner Jorge Lorenzo) finished the race 55.982sec faster than the top Yamaha in 2009 (race winner Valentino Rossi). Lorenzo was 61.350sec faster than he'd been on his way to second in 2009.
o The top Honda at Assen 2010 (second place Dani Pedrosa) finished the race 92.590sec faster than the top Honda in the 2009 event (Randy de Puniet). Note that Pedrosa and factory team-mate Andrea Dovizioso crashed out last year, exaggerating the figures.
o The top Ducati at Assen 2010 (third place Casey Stoner) finished the race 72.073sec faster than the top Ducati in the 2009 event (also Stoner).
o But the top Suzuki (Capirossi) finished the 2010 Dutch TT only 28.972sec faster than the top Suzuki in last year's race (fifth place Chris Vermeulen). Capirossi was 36.040sec faster than he had been on his way to ninth in 2009.
o Vermeulen finished 33.605sec from victory at Assen 2009 and Capirossi 40.673sec, but at Assen 2010 Capirossi was 60.615sec from victory and rookie team-mate Bautista 68.074sec.

It highlights a significant decline in relative performance by Suzuki, and Capirossi left Assen feeling 'really angry'.

"I just don't know what to say after this weekend - when I try to go quicker than I did today I feel like I will crash and when I try to make a race I end up almost last," said Capirossi, who is already rumoured to be looking for alternative rides for 2011.

"The effort we are putting in is a lot and I am really angry and annoyed, because the whole team is trying really hard, we make so many changes to try to find the best solution and we just cannot find it.

"We just had no feeling at the start today and we needed three or four laps to get any kind of feel in the tyres, but by then it was too late. It is the same to finish 11th [where he qualified] or 13th, both positions feel the same and it is just not good enough, we need to make some big changes for next weekend so we can try to be more competitive."

Team manager Paul Denning shared his lead rider's frustration and apologised for the lack of competitive machinery.

"Things have been very difficult this season and they didn't get any easier today." He began. "I want to say sorry to Loris and ?lvaro that we couldn't give them a competitive machine today, Loris especially is incredibly frustrated and that frustration is shared by all of us.

"We have to keep working hard and keep focused to find the key that will allow the riders to perform to the best of their abilities."

The Catalan Grand Prix at Barcelona starts on Friday.


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