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Denning believes depth in talent hindering Suzuki cause

Denning believes depth in talent hindering Suzuki cause

With the number of racewinners and World Champions on the MotoGP grid at an all-time high, it is obvious that any rider aspiring to victory will have to be at the top of their game this season.

For Rizla Suzuki, such perfect conditions have as yet not come about in 2008, and the team have yet to realise the potential of riders Chris Vermeulen and Loris Capirossi.

`The depth of talent this year is greater than it has ever been,´ notes Team Manager Paul Denning, who experienced his most successful season since taking charge of the team with a fantastic 2007.

`The quality of all the manufacturers´ bikes is now at a level whereby the newness of the 800cc category no longer has an effect. All the bikes are strong and are capable of winning races, so it is difficult and if you have an off day you will be twelfth. So it´s that simple, there are 18 great motorcycles; all with great tyres and all with great riders.´

Undeniably one of those great riders is veteran Capirossi, a newcomer to the Suzuki ranks this season. Whilst the Italian´s start to the year has not been disastrous, Denning and the rider himself have set high standards for themselves, and anything less than podium finishes will never really satisfy the partnership.

`Ok, we´ve managed to get pretty consistent finishes, but it isn´t where we feel we can be with the machine,´ continues the Suzuki head. `If we can achieve our targets with the bike, which would be to get more consistency in varying track conditions and to provide some more edge grip, it really isn´t too far away.´

This weekend´s visit to Shanghai could be the ideal opportunity for the team to turn their fortunes around, with the track the scene of John Hopkins´ first podium with Suzuki last year. A repeat from either Capirossi or Vermeulen would be well received this time around.

`I think the track will suit the bike and tyres well, so we hope to be competitive and to be fighting in the front group. Once you reach that level the races tend to take care of themselves -so it´s not easy- but we are not going to be saying we are going to China and we won´t be happy unless we are in the top ten.´

`The initial expectation hasn´t quite been met, but at the same time you´ve got to respect the level of competition that is out there, be respectful of that and make sure that we get to a level that allows us to fight at the front,´ concludes Denning.

MotoGP, 2008, Rizla Suzuki MotoGP

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