Rizla Suzuki MotoGP racers Chris Vermeulen and John Hopkins return to action at Brno in the Czech Republic next weekend refreshed and ready to go after the mid-season break, and both are sure that good results are a strong possibility.
Vermeulen is especially
eager to get back into the fray following his first dry weather podium last time out in America. The 25-year-old Australian will also be riding competitively for the first time since agreeing to remain with Suzuki for 2008 and will now be looking to fully concentrate on racing hard for the rest of 2007.
Vermeulen will also be planning to build on his already impressive points tally that sees him in fourth place in the riders' championship, having already scored 15 points more this season than he did in the whole of 2006.
Hopkins had a strong race at Brno last year and finished seventh, following what he described as his best race of the season. The combative Anglo-American is still looking for another podium to go alongside his first top-three in China this year, and believes that Brno holds a good chance for him. Hopkins has recovered from the disappointment of Laguna Seca, where a first lap incident cost him any chance of a possible podium at his ‘home' GP and will be determined to make amends in the Czech Republic.
Brno is situated in the south-east of the Czech Republic, not far from the Austrian border and is the most eastern of all the European Grand Prix. The 5.4km circuit is an ideal track to come back to after the summer break and has a habit of producing exciting races. The layout features various types of corner combinations over many different elevations.
Rizla Suzuki MotoGP takes to the track on Friday for two hour-long practice sessions and then another free practice session the following morning. Saturday afternoon is reserved for an hour of qualifying to determine starting positions for the race. The main event is round 12 of the 2007 MotoGP World Championship and the 22-lap race gets underway at 14.00hrs local time (12.00hrs GMT) on Sunday 19th August.
“I cannot wait to get back in the saddle again. I have had some downtime relaxing on my boat in Australia – I even went whale watching! But I need to be racing again - it's my job! I'm glad that I have got next year's negotiations all sorted and out of the way. I'm delighted to be staying with Suzuki and will now be able to concentrate on my riding and getting the best possible results for the remainder of the season, starting at Brno!”
“I was very disappointed at Laguna, but that's racing and it's all done now. I love Brno, it is a great circuit and with how the bike and the tyres are working this year I really believe we have a great opportunity there. I am fully committed to getting the best out of the GSV-R, and with corner-speed being a vital ingredient to success at Brno I think I have a good chance of putting us on the podium again!”