Rizla Suzuki MotoGP racers Loris Capirossi and Álvaro Bautista both finished today’s Italian Grand Prix in points scoring positions.
The two riders finished in 10th and 14th places respectively after tough races for the pair, but for different reasons. Capirossi struggled to get the front end feeling that he wanted from his Suzuki GSV-R and couldn’t push hard enough to get up to the pack in front of him for a higher position. He was disappointed to finish his home GP in 10th, but philosophical about completing a full race after crashing in both of his last two outings.
Bautista was also battling against the injury he sustained recently – as well as the other riders on-track – and although the discomfort from riding a MotoGP bike in race conditions was immense, he wrestled his machine to the line to give Rizla Suzuki its first double points score of the season.
Today’s race was held in glorious sunshine with 76,814 fans baking at trackside in temperatures of over 30ºC. Dani Pedrosa took a flag-to-flag victory on his factory Honda, with championship leader Jorge Lorenzo second.
Rizla Suzuki now heads back across the English Channel for its home Grand Prix at Silverstone on Sunday 20th June.
“This race is less of a disaster that the last two because I didn’t finish them, but I am really annoyed because we just never found the best solution. Today we started with a setting from warm-up but I just never had a feeling in the front and every time I changed direction I thought I was going to lose it. I nearly crashed a couple of times and had to go a bit slower to make sure I didn’t – I don’t want to be racing like that! The whole team works so hard to find the right solution, but unfortunately we’re not finding what we seek. The engine has improved a lot from last year, but we have something in the chassis or settings that is not working well, so we need to quickly discover what that is and fix it.”
“My left arm feels like it is destroyed, but we managed to do what our target was today and that was to finish the race, so that is a small victory for us. On the first lap I tried to ride and change direction quickly, but the first time I felt so much pain I couldn’t keep in touch with any other riders or manage to follow them. I tried to get a good rhythm that I was comfortable with and finish the race. Towards the end I got a feeling that was ok and although I felt much pain all over, I was able to get to the line and get more experience and complete more kilometres. I will now make sure I get close to full recovery for the next GP, it is the Team’s home race and I want to do very well there!”
Paul Denning – Team Manager:
“Loris set the fifth quickest lap in warm-up this morning and was confident of a strong race, but, as we’ve found already this year, the feeling from the front and the amount of grip was much less in the race – in fact much less than it had been all weekend – and this is something that Suzuki and the engineers will need to get to the bottom of as soon as possible. Our target has to be more consistency in different conditions so that Loris can push as hard as he wants to and get nearer to the leading group.
“Álvaro’s two points are likely to be the hardest he’ll ever score. It was a fairly heroic effort to complete the 23-laps and the medical team all believe that putting the shoulder through that process will help the recovery. It will put him in a much stronger position for the busy schedule in June and July and he certainly has a better base to begin with at Silverstone in two weeks’ time.”
Gran Premio D’Italia Tim Race Classification:
1. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 42’28.066: 2. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) +4.014: 3. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) +6.196: 4. Casey Stoner (Ducati) +25.703: 5. Marco Melandri (Honda) +25.735: 10. LORIS CAPIROSSI (RIZLA SUZUKI MOTOGP) +42.107: 14. ÁLVARO BAUTISTA (RIZLA SUZUKI MOTOGP) +1’24.389: