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Suzuki aim to continue excellent form

Suzuki aim to continue excellent form

Rizla Suzuki head to Estoril on the Atlantic coast of Portugal for this weekends fourteenth round of the MotoGP season with the intention of continuing their rich vein of recent form.

Rizla Suzuki head to Estoril on the Atlantic coast of Portugal for this weekends fourteenth round of the MotoGP season with the intention of continuing their rich vein of recent form.

On the back of a fantastic double podium earned at the last round in Misano, the Suzuki squad tackle the bwin.com Grande Premio de Portugal aiming to overtake Fiat Yamaha in the Team World Championship general standings - knowing that a second place finish this year is a realistic target.

Indeed, their San Marino success in round 13 Chris Vermeulen second, John Hopkins third - was a milestone result. The last time that two Suzuki riders finished on the podium was at Valencia in 2001, in a race run in mixed weather conditions, which Sete Gibernau won and Kenny Roberts finished third.

Misano was therefore the first Suzuki double podium in the four-stroke MotoGP era and the teams total of 284 points so far this year is their biggest haul since the change of regulations to four-stroke.

Seven podium finishes already this year mean Suzuki riders have already scored one more podium in 2007 than over the previous six years combined and at least one Suzuki rider has finished on the podium at the last three races - the longest run of successive podiums for the team since 2000.

In addition, with top three finishes in the last two races John Hopkins has become the first Suzuki rider to take back-to-back podiums since Kenny Roberts in his title winning campaign of 2000.

Last season at Portugal, meanwhile, Hopkins was the first Bridgestone rider across the line with a sixth placed finish, after being the highest qualifying Bridgestone-shod competitor in sixth position on the grid.

Having achieved his first podium this season with third place in China, followed up by his first appearance on the second step of the rostrum in the Czech Republic, the Anglo-American is desperate to achieve his first MotoGP win before his move to Kawasaki for 2008.

The 24 year-old commented: I really want that first place before the end of this season and Im running out of races so Ill be going all-out to make sure I get it, and Estoril gives me a good chance of it happening this coming weekend!

I like Estoril and I think it will suit the latest GSV-R well. If we mix that with excellent performance and improvement of the Bridgestone tyres I am sure we can be right up there and chasing after that top spot.

On the other side of the pit-box Chris Vermeulen will be making only his second visit to the Estoril circuit, but is buoyed by his recent performances and determined to hold onto his fourth place and close down on third placed Dani Pedrosa in the riders championship.

The ever-improving Aussie added: I want to do the best I can for the remainder of the year, but I cant win the championship so my main priority is improving the GSV-R and my own performance so that I will be in a position to challenge for the title next year. I quite enjoyed Estoril last season and am sure that I can go even better this time out.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, bwin.com GRANDE PREMIO DE PORTUGAL

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