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Denning: `Suzuki not satisfied´ with gap to frontrunners

Denning: `Suzuki not satisfied´ with gap to frontrunners

Three podiums in 2008 fail to satiate Suzuki appetite for MotoGP success.

Three rostrum finishes were anomalies in results rather than the norm for Rizla Suzuki in 2008, as the Japanese factory found themselves falling short of their expectations for Loris Capirossi and Chris Vermeulen. Team Manager Paul Denning has put the past season down as a transitional year, with some hard work ahead over the winter to bridge a gap to the top finishers in MotoGP.

`For us, one or two podiums is nothing too exciting,´ says Denning of Vermeulen´s top three placings in Sachsenring and Laguna Seca, plus Capirossi´s sole rostrum in Brno.

`We need to be challenging for them every weekend, and getting the bike consistent enough for the riders to be able to give their all. When we get to that point then we can be satisfied, but this is a little bit far away so we´ll have to work hard.´

For the Briton lap times are a more telling reflection of the past year, with some clear targets to be set after noting the differences between Suzuki and the rest of the MotoGP field.

`In the end our bike is quite a good package, and the team and riders are pushing hard, but the gap to the front is still there and it´s a little bit too big. One second back on Valentino Rossi doesn´t seem like too much, but it´s a lot of work to get there. We hope that we can close the gap.

`Now the hard work really starts. We need to make a big step in the winter and think about every small part. Suzuki aren´t happy to finish eighth and tenth –maybe seventh and eighth without injuries- we want to be challenging for the top positions.´

Following the Valencia test a fortnight ago, Suzuki´s next appointment is at Phillip Island in Australia at the end of this month, where they will test alongside Kawasaki.

MotoGP, 2008, Rizla Suzuki MotoGP

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