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Rizla Suzuki duo ready to roll

Rizla Suzuki duo ready to roll

Rizla Suzuki duo ready to roll

Rizla Suzuki, one of the fastest teams so far during pre-season, look like they might do something special with the arrival of the 800cc era. John Hopkins and Chris Vermeulen are back from training, and next week they return to Sepang to put the GSV-R800 through its paces once more.

The promising duo will start work from Monday at the Malaysian circuit of Sepang, a frequent fixture on the MotoGP test calendar due to its varied features and distinct weather conditions.

John Hopkins, fast from the get-go after the final race of the 2006 season at Valencia, is understandably eager to pick up where he left off. "Right now we've just got to maintain the good level of performance that we seemed to have in the first 800 tests," commented the Anglo-American. "We've got to work really hard in these tests, because once the first race comes, we've got to be ready! We all need to be prepared. I think Suzuki is ready, and myself - physically and mentally – I'm totally geared up and looking forward to it very much. We're going to be working a lot with Bridgestone and testing a lot of tyres over race distance and working on the durability of not just the tyres but the bike as well. We just all need to pull together and make it happen!"

Equally keen to get back into the swing of testing is Chris Vermeulen, a rider who put in some great performances last season on the 990cc Suzuki. "This test can't come soon enough for me, it seems like ages since I was on a GP bike and I'm eager to get back," said the likeable Australian. "We have loads of work to get through and the season starts in just over a month so we all know it's going to be tough. I have been training hard during the break and feel fitter than I have ever been before a season starts. I've been in regular contact with my Crew Chief – Tom O'Kane – and he and the rest of the team are as revved up as I am! We know that Suzuki has been working hard to find us some more horsepower, and make lots of detailed improvements, to make sure we hit these tests running."

MotoGP, 2007

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