Vermeulen's chain was slipping right from start of the 22 lap race, and then came off altogether, forcing his retirement on lap 6.

"Obviously I'm not happy with today's result; in fact that's probably an understatement," said Chris, who had qualified a season's best eighth. "I had a problem right from the start and the chain kept slipping making the bike really difficult to ride.

"I felt like my pace was quicker than the four guys in front of me, but every time I tried to pass them the chain would just slip and I'd lose my momentum. Then towards the end of lap six the chain came off and I had to go into the pits and that was the race over.

"I am really disappointed with what happened, but we have to learn from this and make sure that it doesn't happen again. We now have to re-group and come back even stronger in France," he declared.

"Chris suffered an extremely unusual technical problem which I know the Suzuki factory will react to very quickly and he deserved much better - he's an awesome racer who just needs his luck to change," sympathised team manager Paul Denning.

Capirossi held seventh position in the early stages of the race, but an error at the end of the back straight caused the Italian to run off track on lap 5. He re-joined in 12th place, fought relentlessly to return to seventh by the penultimate lap - only to suffer a 'similar' problem to Vermeulen, costing him two places by the finish line.

"It's difficult to say that this was a positive day, but we did improve a lot and if it wasn't for my mistake early on it could have been a lot better," confessed Loris. "I didn't want to lose touch with the top guys and my rhythm was really good, but I ran off and that cost me some places. I got back up to seventh and then I had a technical problem and I lost two positions right at the end. Now we will go to Le Mans and make sure that we are competitive there - we had the potential to do much better today."

"For Loris it was his most competitive race on a Suzuki so far, and he had the pace to finish at least in the top five if everything had gone to plan," said Denning. "Unfortunately he made a mistake early on - which can happen when you are pushing to the maximum - and although he fought back to seventh he was denied by a similar problem to Chris."

Suzuki's race day problems were witness by Masahito Nishikawa, general manager of the factory's Motorcycle Engine Design Department.

"It has been a good experience for me to visit the team and work with them here in China," he said. "I will now take my report back to the Factory and make sure that we can start to be more competitive. We will try to take the steps we need to make this bike a race winner."