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Rizla Suzuki officially unveil GSV-R800 and Hopkins confirms Jerez absence

Rizla Suzuki officially unveil GSV-R800 and Hopkins confirms Jerez absence

Rizla Suzuki officially unveil GSV-R800 and Hopkins confirms Jerez absence

An expectant media pack gathered this evening in the Suzuki MotoGP pit-box in Jerez as the team official unveiled their livery for this season and the 2007 Rizla Suzuki GSV-R800.

On the eve of three days of final preseason analysis at the final Official MotoGP Test of the winter in southern Spain the unveiling was undertaken by Rizla Suzuki's rider line-up for the coming campaign, John Hopkins and Chris Vermeulen.

The GSV-R800 was the star of the show, whilst members of the Rizla Suzuki team including Team Manager Paul Denning and both riders' crew chiefs Stuart Shenton and Tom O'Kane were in attendance.

Denning commented: "The change of regulation has produced some interesting, and quite unexpected, testing results over the winter. As a team, we are delighted with what the Suzuki factory has produced – the new GSV-R800 is beautifully detailed, very durable and right on the weight limit. In my opinion, it's the best GP bike Suzuki has ever produced, and without doubt it is the best of the 4-strokes so far."

In addition, Vermeulen explained his feeling at this crucial stage of preseason, saying: "I feel pretty good and the pre-season went well for Suzuki. I always enjoyed riding the Suzuki but this version even more. I really like the new bike, it's very fast and very blue! The bike has had about a 20% reduction in capacity but it feels very similar to last year's bike to throw a leg over. I like cars and I got my first pole in the wet, so we'll see what Sunday brings."

As Vermeulen's injured team-mate Hopkins recuperates from the crash he suffered in last week's Qatar visit, Japanese test rider Kousuke Akiyoshi will ride alongside the Australian over the coming days.

Meanwhile Hopkins gave the latest details on his current progress: "Talking with the doctors, I realized that I shouldn't take any risk riding this weekend. At least this problem came up at the end of the pre-season and not right in the middle. So now I'm heading home to get some laser treatment. I think the new bike looks great. We have already had the chance to ride it but this is the first time I've seen the new colours. I am looking forward to getting out on the track again and showing what the new GSV-R can do."

MotoGP, 2007, John Hopkins

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