Loris Capirossi admits the Malaysian Grand Prix 'won't be too easy' for Rizla Suzuki as the team seek a strong end to the season after something of a barren patch.
A mid-season run of form suggested Suzuki would be capable of challenging the Yamaha-Honda-Ducati trio, but neither Capirossi nor Chris Vermeulen have scored a top five result in the last three races.
Nonetheless, both riders are confident heading to Sepang, which has become a popular testing venue for the teams and means they head there with a considerable amount of data. Even so, Capirossi suggests the two long straights that define the Malaysian circuit could hamper their hopes of a strong result.
“I am quite optimistic about Sepang as I really enjoy the track there and we made some really good tests there earlier in the year. We certainly got the bike working quite well there so let's hope with all the new parts we have had this year will help when we return.
“For us it won't be too easy because there are two really long straights, but I know we will all try to do our best, but sometimes that is not enough to get a good result so we hope that all the work the factory is doing will help us and we will keep trying as hard as we can over the next two races and see what happens.”
Vermeulen, meanwhile, is desperate for a good result after scoring just eight points in the last three races. It means he has lost touch in the battle for sixth place and is under pressure from Shinya Nakano and team-mate Capirossi too.
“I am really looking forward to heading back to Sepang, as it's a track we have tested at and have proved that the Suzuki goes well there and let's hope that some of the test parts we tried at Phillip Island will be beneficial.
“It will also be great having Nobu [Aoki] there on some more development parts and that they will be an advantage to Loris and me, and we'll be able to use them in the race-team very soon.”