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Rizla Suzuki manager Paul Denning reviewed the valiant efforts of Loris Capirossi and Ben Spies after another good weekend for the team at Laguna Seca.
On the podium for a second weekend in succession at the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix the trip to California was another successful excursion for Rizla Suzuki, but it was not only the endeavours of third place finisher Chris Vermeulen which impressed team boss Paul Denning.
When the English manager spoke to motogp.com at the conclusion of Sunday´s racing he was full of praise for wildcard rider Ben Spies - who doubled up on his U.S. AMA Superbike duty to take eighth place in just his second MotoGP race - and was similarly pleased with the injured Loris Capirossi´s efforts in gaining a point despite his nasty arm injury.
`It was a really solid weekend but the only negative point was Loris´ condition,´ commented Denning on Capirossi´s race, which was hindered by the forearm gash he sustained last month in Assen. `In the wet in Sachsenring he was able to ride the bike smoothly and finish seventh which was amazing, but I saw his arm again today and he should be in hospital not here.´
Denning continued, `With these guys you sometimes try to protect them from themselves, but when they have this much passion and they want to ride it is incredible. He doesn´t get paid any more to be here or be at home but he wants to be here and try, so we can only say thanks for that. He has three weeks now and even if he is not 100% fit we should get the real Capirossi back in Brno.´
Switching his focus to Spies, who followed up on his Donington debut with a top eight finish on home territory, Denning said, `It was a really solid job. A big crash on Friday morning slowed down his progress a bit, but it didn´t knock his confidence too much. There are so many talented riders in MotoGP and he has shown that he has the same level of talent. He really fought well throughout the race and most impressive was that his speed increased as the race went on.´
The reigning, double U.S. AMA Superbikes champion Spies followed up the MotoGP race by taking second place in the domestic American series on Sunday, before telling motogp.com, `It was good. It is a track I know well. We were struggling in some areas with the bike to get me comfortable, but I just had to ride through it during the race and it was great working with the team. I think it went fairly well. We were not quite as high as I wanted to be but we were close so it was a good weekend.´
Of his own fifteenth place finish, meanwhile, the brave Capirossi stated, `It was a really hard race for me. We tried to fix everything to put it in place in practice. My start was ok and I tried to stay in position in sixth or seventh but after a couple of laps I started to really feel the pain in my arm. I was going back and back and I just tried to finish the race. I know it is only one point, but I tried my best. I am just waiting to have the three weeks of rest to find my best condition again.´
After decent performances from both - in the circumstances - Denning appears to have something of a dilemma on his hands with regard to accommodating riders next season, with Spies full-time arrival in MotoGP still the subject of much speculation and Capirossi´s 2009 plans yet to be confirmed.
When asked whether he could provide any details of Suzuki´s likely line-up for the forthcoming campaign Denning replied, `I would certainly like to give you a comment, but that is `no comment´ at the moment. Nothing is fixed and it is better to be quiet on that until we have clear direction from the factory.´
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