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Suzuki improvements lift confidence for ’09 kick off

Suzuki improvements lift confidence for ’09 kick off

As the Rizla Suzuki team travel to the Losail International Circuit in Qatar spirits are high following winter improvements to the GSV-R.

As the excitement builds ahead of the Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar this weekend Loris Capirossi and his team-mate Chris Vermeulen are desperate for the competitive action to commence, having made significant strides over the winter.

Successful preseason tests in Malaysia, Qatar and Spain, have seen winter improvements to the GSV-R800 confirmed by both riders, with the last of those tests at Jerez resulting in Capirossi and Vermeulen finishing third and fifth respectively in the BMW M Award showdown session.

Both riders struggled for consistency in 2008, with competitiveness in the latter stages of races a specific problem, so this weekend will give both Suzuki riders a chance to see how far their overall race package has in fact improved since the conclusion of last season.

Capirossi and Vermeulen were regularly amongst the top riders at all of the 2009 preseason practices, but that will count for nothing unless they can get some good points on the board in Qatar.

“It was good to finish the test schedule with a good result at Jerez and it shows how far the bike has come on in the winter, but now we have to be focused on racing, because we have to keep improving,” comments the vastly experienced Capirossi. “We want to be on the podium and winning races and I believe that is where we can be. Qatar has been a tough track for Suzuki in the past, but the test there earlier this year was quite good and hopefully we can get the season off to a strong start.”

The veteran Italian’s 26 year-old Australian colleague Vermeulen adds, “We had an important test at Losail last month and we are going there a lot better prepared than the same time last year.”

“Qatar has been a track that we have struggled at in the past, but the new GSV-R seems to be working very well there this year and both Loris and I were well on the pace in the test. Hopefully we can stay in the top-five at Qatar, because that is certainly what we are aiming for.”


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