In Ducati send-off conference
Loris Capirossi has ended speculation about his destination for 2008 by announcing a one year deal with Suzuki, with an option for a second year.
The Italian veteran's decision was made public in a press conference held at the Brno circuit
in his current team Ducati's hospitality area, where he was later joined by boss Livio Suppo as he explained his decision.
“I have a good feeling about Suzuki; they have a lot of 500cc titles and it means I will still be riding for a factory team, which was important”, said the 34 year old. “I spoke with them, Kawasaki and with Ducati, but I decided to leave because I was only going to be able to ride for the d'Antin satellite team if I had stayed. I have a new toy now, and I'm optimistic about it.”
Whilst Capirossi has struggled with the Desmosedici GP7, he does not believe that he will experience the same difficulties with his 2008 ride, noting that “every bike is different, so the same problems won't be there for me.”
The former 250cc World Champion leaves behind a massive legacy at Ducati, having been with the factory since their arrival in MotoGP. As he noted in the press conference, he is the only current rider to have competed for five years in the same team, and took Ducati's only victories until the end of the 2006 season.
Whilst team-mate Casey Stoner has been the more successful of the 2007 line up, Capirossi was quick to emphasise that his decision was not a result of Stoner's success.
“I get on really well with Stoner and he is a great guy.
My decision has nothing to do with Casey's performances this year or anything like that.”
As the press conference concluded, Livio Suppo paid tribute to Capirossi and put an end to any media speculation that their relationship had soured.
“I want to thank Loris, because without him we probably would not be here. Always at the end of a relationship there are some disagreements, but this is life and we respect each other tremendously”, explained Suppo. “We have had good times and bad times, but far more good times.”
Capirossi will see out the rest of the season with Ducati, and has been given permission to test with Suzuki before the end of 2007.
DORNA / CAPSIS International