An interview with Loris
Looking back on another eventful season and giving his thoughts on his move away from Ducati Marlboro to another Bridgestone supplied team, Rizla Suzuki, veteran MotoGP rider Loris Capirossi has given a typically positive insight into his current
frame of mind - with one round of the 2007 World Championship remaining.
Regarding his departure for pastures new, having previously also ridden for Yamaha and Honda, the 34 year-old Italian Ducati star is as enthusiastic as ever about the Suzuki challenge, commenting: “I am really, really 100 % excited about my decision.”
“They wanted to sign me before, and we have maintained a good relationship. I think they want me for my experience, to help develop the bike – but also because I am competitive. When I have the right feeling with the bike, I know I can fight with Valentino (Rossi) and Casey (Stoner).”
Capirossi also believes that while he can still challenge at the front, as demonstrated by his superb recent win in Japan, he will aim to continue racing, stating: “I think I will have one, maybe two more years in racing. For the moment, I don't want to stop. For sure I can still win, and I want to try and do that.”
Indeed the Italian's Twin Ring triumph took his total of Grand Prix wins to 29 in a career which has brought him two 125cc and one 250cc World Championships and seen him regularly step onto the podium in the premier class. At Motegi this year – where he won for the third successive season in MotoGP – Capirossi became the rider with the longest winning career in history, with his first 125 victory having been secured 17 years ago.
“I have a lot of experience behind me”, he explains.
“I can remember really clearly when I start to race, not having experience, just believing in myself and going at full pace, without understanding anything. My pace is nearly the same as it was at the beginning of my career, but I make fewer mistakes now.”
However, this year has not been plain sailing throughout for Capirossi, with results somewhat inconsistent compared to previous campaigns as he has become accustomed to the differences with riding the new generation of 800cc MotoGP prototypes.
When asked why he thinks new World Champion Stoner has been able to outperform him on the same machinery, Capirossi replied: “I've been asking myself that all season. I think it is the character of the bike, and we have different riding styles. Last year the 990cc felt like my bike, and I could do what I wanted with it. This year, at every race, I am fighting with the bike.”
He will have another new machine to learn over the winter, but perhaps he will be more suited to the Suzuki GSV-R800 he runs next season. Capirossi should certainly benefit from the continuity of remaining on Bridgestone tyres, having been so influential in the Japanese firm's MotoGP endeavours over the past five years with Ducati.
“I think that every year Bridgestone has worked very cleverly”, he commented. “But the best thing with Bridgestone is that they follow the rider 100 percent. That is really important, because the rider has the feeling from the bike. When you only check the data, the computer is always a bit different from the feedback from the rider.”
DORNA / CAPSIS International