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Mixed fortunes for Suzuki at Losail

Mixed fortunes for Suzuki at Losail

Loris Capirossi's debut for Rizla Suzuki saw him working hard for an eighth place finish at the first race of the season in Qatar on Sunday, whilst the Italian veteran's new team-mate Chris Vermeulen finished 17th, prompting a mixed review from the team's boss Paul Denning.

Loris Capirossi's debut for Rizla Suzuki saw him working hard for an eighth place finish at the first race of the season in Qatar on Sunday, whilst the Italian veteran's new team-mate Chris Vermeulen finished 17th.

Starting from 13th on the Losail International grid, Capirossi fought his way through the field to eighth on lap five, maintaining that position for the rest of the 22-lap race and using all his experience to fight off a strong challenge from Randy de Puniet in the final laps.

Vermeulen, meanwhile, made a good start to the first-ever night race and improved on his 11th placed grid position early on, but a suspected fault with his front tyre caused him to pit. The Australian of course tried to make up places to secure valuable championship points, but finished the race just outside the scoring positions in 17th place.

Reviewing the Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar as a whole, Suzuki's Team Manager Paul Denning told motogp.com: "It was clearly a great spectacle held under the lights here and without question it's been a success from that point of view."

"The racing was just as hard as it always is and the lap times were fantastic," he continued, "so I think from an event point of view everyone can be happy that the first night time Grand Prix has been a massive success."

"From a Rizla Suzuki point of view it was quite positive and really negative mixed together," said the Englishman philosophically. "We had such a difficult test a week ago and we improved a lot over the course of this weekend, but really we were still a little bit behind our competitors in terms of where we wanted to be."

Speaking specifically about Capirossi's debut for the team, Denning added: "Loris pushed really hard and came from 13th on the first lap to get past everyone in front of him to get to eighth. But by the time he got to eighth, the group back to Colin Edwards - which was the front group - was really gone and was four seconds up the track."

"We didn't have the pace to close that gap so all Loris could do was maintain that position. He fought really hard and I think he did a really good job."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2008, Commercialbank GRAND PRIX OF QATAR, Loris Capirossi, Rizla Suzuki MotoGP

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