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Rizla Suzuki gets home Grand Prix underway


Rizla Suzuki has completed the first day of practice at the British Grand Prix with Álvaro Bautista and Loris Capirossi taking their time to become accustomed to the new circuit at Silverstone.

Bautista (P13, 2’08.666, 19 laps) was certainly more comfortable on his Suzuki GSV-R today than at Mugello recently, as he still battles back to full fitness from his recent injuries. He made steady progress throughout the session and was pleased with his first day’s effort, but realises that improvements still need to be made by both him and the bike as the weekend progresses.

Capirossi (P15, 2’09.805, 16 laps) found the going tough today as he struggled to find the grip he was looking for around the 5,902m Silverstone circuit. Capirossi and his crew made some major changes to the Suzuki GSV-R in the session and at the end of the hour he believed they had made steps in the right direction that should come to fruition tomorrow.

Today’s practice was held in very overcast conditions with track temperatures only getting up to 21ºC, the fastest time of the day was set by Jorge Lorenzo on his factory Yamaha.

Rizla Suzuki has one more practice session tomorrow morning to get everything in place for the qualifying in the afternoon. Sunday’s 20-lap race is round five on the calendar and the main event gets underway at 13.00hrs local time (12.00hrs GMT).

Álvaro Bautista:

“It has been a good experience today, because when we came here earlier in the year and did some laps on a road-bike it was totally different to riding the GSV-R here today. It was like riding a totally different track – mainly because the corners now feel closer together due to the power of the GSV-R. My shoulder is better, but still not 100%. It is stronger than Mugello and now I can start to work a lot more normally on the bike than I did there. We need to do some work on the exit of the corners because we’re getting a lot of movement and that is pushing me wide and making it difficult to get on the gas. Tomorrow we must find a solution for this and make sure we improve on today.”

Loris Capirossi:

“At the start of the session we didn’t get the grip we wanted from the bike so we tried to change the set-up a bit, but in the first pit-stop we didn’t quite solve the problem and after the second one the feeling was a bit better. I tried to go a bit faster and push a bit harder, but it started to rain and we couldn’t really do a full test. It seemed a bit better but we didn’t have enough time after losing so much with the pit-stops. Overall the track is good and it is nice to ride. It is an interesting layout and quite bumpy in parts and now we just have to fix the bike to work on it and we’ll be ok.”

Paul Denning – Team Manager:

“This was not really the start we wanted for the team’s home Grand Prix and especially for Loris it was difficult to find any rhythm, given that the bike just didn’t work well out of the box. Clearly everyone will go quicker as the track improves and the riders’ knowledge and confidence also improves, but we’ve got bigger steps to make than most and we’ll have to hope that the direction changes we make overnight will allow the riders to push much harder tomorrow morning and get much closer to the leading group.”

AirAsia British Grand Prix Free Practise Classification:

1. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 2’05.991: 2. Casey Stoner (Ducati) +0.142: 3. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) +0.356: 4. Randy de Puniet (Honda) +0.448: 5. Ben Spies (Yamaha) +1.259: 13. ÁLVARO BAUTISTA (RIZLA SUZUKI MOTOGP) +2.675: 15. LORIS CAPIROSSI (RIZLA SUZUKI MOTOGP) +3.814: