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Capirossi takes podium finish in rally event

Capirossi takes podium finish in rally event

Rizla Suzuki rider finishes third in weekend event, whilst Team Manager Paul Denning fails to place in the final standings.

Loris Capirossi left England on Sunday with some new silverware for his trophy cabinet, after a podium finish in a one-off rally appearance. Capirossi took third place in the Suzuki Swift Sport Cup event, held in Aldershot on Saturday.

The Rizla Suzuki star was ably assisted by co-driver Craig Thorley behind the wheel of a Suzuki Swift, adorned with his customary 65 racing number. Capirossi eventually finished just 14 seconds off the final time recorded by rally and championship winner Mark Gamble.

Capirossi´s performance also took him to ninth in the two-wheel drive section of the Tempest Rally, which ran alongside the Swift Cup. Team Manager Paul Denning was unable to challenge his charge in his own moonlighting appearance, having been disqualified from the rally for not returning to the stage within the permitted time limit after pitching his car into a roadside ditch. He and co-driver Jemma Bellingham later participated in the final stages of the event.

For Capirossi, the Suzuki Swift Rally had been an enjoyable race weekend, although the ever-competitive MotoGP veteran still felt that he could have taken victory.

`It has been a great day and it was really fun to do the rally. I took my time in the early stages as I got used to driving on the loose surfaces and in the forests, it was certainly very different from the wide-open tracks that I am used to in MotoGP!´ joked the Italian.

`As I got more confident with the car my times improved and I was able to go a lot quicker. I think if we could have done a couple more stages I might have caught the leader, but I am really pleased with third in my first rally. It was a shame that Paul crashed out, because I think our times were very close and it would have been good to have had that extra bit of competition with him, but I think I would have beaten him anyway!´

Denning took the defeat in good spirits, stating afterwards that: `With Loris, I suppose it was slightly inevitable that one of us was going to crash trying to beat the other, and I think it was even more inevitable that it was going to be me!

` Well done to Loris for his podium position, it's a good end to 2008 and I hope we taste some more champagne on two wheels in 2009!´

MotoGP, 2008, Loris Capirossi, Rizla Suzuki MotoGP

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