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Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Solid first day for Rizla Suzuki at a sunny Sachsenring

Rizla Suzuki racer Loris Capirossi finished the first day of practice for the German Grand Prix within touching distance of the front group at a scorching Sachsenring today.

Capirossi (1’23.589, 26 laps) was only six tenths-of-a-second from a provisional front row start today, despite only recording 14th place on the classification. His performance through the first and fourth sectors of the circuit saw the Italian record the fifth and second quickest times respectively, and if Capirossi can improve in the middle sections of the 3,671m circuit tomorrow he should be close to the leading group come race day.

Álvaro Bautista (P16, 1’24.020, 30 laps) tried both his Rizla Suzuki GSV-Rs with different settings during today’s test to give him the right direction for the rest of the weekend. He certainly favoured one over the other at this tight, twisty and very demanding track and will be looking to make the correct improvements to that set-up tomorrow, as he aims to continue with the strong form he showed at the last race.

Today’s practice was held in very warm conditions with bright sunshine raising air temperatures to 36ºC and ground temperatures to 55ºC. Dani Pedrosa recorded the fastest time of the day on his factory Honda.

Rizla Suzuki has one practice session tomorrow morning, with qualifying in the afternoon. Sunday’s 30-lap race gets underway at 14.00hrs local time (12.00hrs GMT).

Loris Capirossi:

“Our position today is not as bad as our place on the time-sheet. 14th is no good, but with an extra few tenths we would be at the front because everybody is so close here. We tried to make some changes to the bike – it is basically the same as the Barcelona setting – so during the session we tried to make many stops to change things and see how they would work. I think in the end we have some idea for something to try to improve the front and help us when we enter the corners. On the faster corners – and the one we go in without the front brake – we are struggling a little bit for feeling, so for tomorrow we have an idea to fix that. I’ve already spoken with Stuart and I’m really positive because the bike feels good on this track.”

Álvaro Bautista:

“We did some tests with the two bikes set-up very differently today. We tried one similar to the bike at Barcelona and another with some different engine characteristics. I preferred one because it was easier to enter the corners. I felt the front was a bit difficult today as I could feel every bump and I was not able to enter how I wanted to, so we need to work on that. We improved during the session, but at the finish I tried the hard rear tyre and I couldn’t get the grip I wanted and I didn’t have enough time to go back to the softer compound. For tomorrow we must work a little bit more and I feel that I can push myself more. We have a good base setting and we just need to get a few more reference points around here and we’ll improve a lot. We will work mostly with one bike tomorrow and not make too many changes, but the changes we do make we must make sure they are the right ones.”

Paul Denning – Team Manager:

“The positions don’t reflect it, but the session went quite well and the base package is not too far away. Loris needs a half-second to be third or fourth, it’s incredibly close and if we can improve the bike through the long corners in the second sector then the lap-times will come a lot more easily for both the guys. We hope the weather holds – and the threatened rain doesn’t appear – and that we can build on today’s potential.”

eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland Free Practice Classification:

1. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1’22.521: 2. Casey Stoner (Ducati) +0.274: 3. Nicky Hayden (Ducati) +0.462: 4. Ben Spies (Yamaha) +0.668: 5. Marco Simoncelli (Honda) +0.683: 14. LORIS CAPIROSSI (RIZLA SUZUKI MOTOGP) +1.068: 16. ÁLVARO BAUTISTA (RIZLA SUZUKI MOTOGP) +1.499: