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Denning on Suzuki’s 2009 fortunes to date

Denning on Suzuki’s 2009 fortunes to date

Rizla Suzuki’s Paul Denning rates the 2009 season to date from the perspective of his team.

When asked by to assess the season so far from a Rizla Suzuki perspective Paul Denning gave an in depth and honest analysis, admitting he had hoped for better performances from Loris Capirossi and Chris Vermeulen and their GSV-R machines this year.

A good preseason, in which the evolving Suzuki prototype looked to have been brought up a notch, has not translated into regular competitiveness with neither Capirossi nor Vermeulen appearing on the podium this year - as they were both able to do in 2008.

The team have not looked like regularly being capable of fighting with the championship frontrunners, though despite the inconsistency of both of their riders Capirossi has kept spirits up with a quartet of top five results – two in the last three races – to put himself seventh in the standings and earn himself a 2010 contract renewal. Vermeulen unfortunately lies 11th in the championship and will be replaced by a MotoGP rookie, Álvaro Bautista, next season.

“The performance level this year is not what we anticipated,” states Denning. “Especially after such strong performance in the winter tests. I think our competitors improved their performance a lot since the winter tests, when we stayed a little bit the same, so the balance of our performance was much less than what we hoped for. Suzuki have reacted though, so the bike has improved in the last few races and we’re now fighting again in the top five quite often. Loris is now seventh in the championship, then again it is not what we’re looking for, but at least we’re in the top half of the championship.”

On the best moment so far this year for Suzuki, Denning continued, “Mugello was great. Fifth place is not great overall, but we were just three seconds off the winner and on certain days three seconds behind the winner can mean you’re on the podium.”

Assessing the work done individually by his two riders Denning added, “Loris has shown his enthusiasm, his bravery and excitement for the racing and that really important. Technically Chris is very good but he lost his confidence at some point during the season. In Misano for example, he was doing the same lap times as Loris but lost a lot of ground in the early laps and it’s difficult to fight back in those conditions. Chris has been a fantastic guy for Suzuki over the last four years. He never whined, we have never had a problem with him, he’s always been professional and did his best.”

“But sometimes, for us and for him, a change can be for the best and I think it can be positive for both of us. We wish him a lot of luck for the future.”

The Englishman concluded, “For the last four races of the season, we have to keep pushing to catch up with the leading group, the two factory Yamahas, Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner. This year the level is very high and to catch up with them we need to take more steps forward, but we need to keep fighting and do our best.

MotoGP, 2009, Rizla Suzuki MotoGP

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