Riders quotes after free practice
John Hopkins, Team Suzuki MotoGP – 1st, 1'47.952
Loris Capirossi, Ducati Marlboro – 2nd, 1'48.053
"I'm extremely pleased with everything that Suzuki and Bridgestone have brought here, I'm pretty happy with the way things went. I had a minor problem that we were able to sort out quickly and got straight back out on track, we only lost about three laps so it wasn't anything serious. Right now I'm really happy with the progress Suzuki has made with the engine parts, the GSV-R has got a lot cleaner feel out of the corners and the throttle management feels a lot better. I am really excited about the new rear tyre that Bridgestone has produced. The race is definitely something to look forward to on Sunday!"
"I am really very pleased with the job we did today and we started working well with the tyres this morning. We continued that in the afternoon session and in all regards we worked in the best way we have done this year. The rhythm is fantastic and I did my best lap of 1'48.053 after ten laps on the same tyres. I went out again on the same rubber and did a mid-1'48". Not bad at all for the first day."
Kenny Roberts Jr, Team Suzuki MotoGP – 3rd, 1'48.263
"I think we are relatively similar to where we were at Brno – in or around the top five or six. We will have to wait and see how qualifying goes tomorrow and see if we can get a decent start in the race. We have our backs up against the wall here with acceleration and that's really the biggest key. As a rider you always want the bike to go round the corner faster, but in reality the thing that would help us most at the moment would be ten to twelve bike lengths extra speed down the back straight. It's not a negative thing it's just something we have to work through, and do the best with what we've got."
Valentino Rossi, Gauloises Yamaha – 4th, 1'48.574
"We had a gearbox problem this morning with one of the bikes not downshifting properly so we probably lost about 15 minutes of the session. Also, for the first time in some years, we are having difficulty with the tyres and we need to address that. Michelin have always worked very well for us and now they are working very hard to find a way forward. Taking that into consideration, fourth place is not so bad but we still have a lot to do. My rivals for the title are behind me but at the moment I am not thinking about that too much. My target for Sunday is to finish on the podium and then we'll have a look at where everybody else has finished. Motegi is not my favourite circuit but there are some sections that I like, such as the right-hander after the bridge."