Rizla Suzuki MotoGP travels to Estoril in Portugal next week for the second and final part of its double-headed Iberian trip following last month's Spanish Grand Prix, with both riders in a positive mood ahead of the race.
Loris Capirossi raced to an excellent
fifth place at Jerez recently, whilst team-mate Chris Vermeulen battled his way to 10th after starting 12th on the grid. Both riders stayed on in Spain for a further two days of testing and were pleased with the progress made and the data the team collected to assist them at other race-tracks throughout the coming season.
Capirossi will be looking to add to his two premier class podiums at the 4,182m long Portuguese circuit, as he makes his debut at Estoril on a Suzuki. Vermeulen is also in a confident mood and is planning on improving on his highest finish of ninth from his previous two visits to Estoril.
The Estoril circuit is a track of contrasts, where ultra-fast corners and an almost kilometre-long straight mix with one of the slowest sections on any track on the MotoGP calendar. Situated high above the towns of Estoril and Cascais just to the west of the Portuguese capital of Lisbon, the circuit is only four miles from the Atlantic Ocean and high-winds are often a problem that riders, bikes and crews have to overcome.
Rizla Suzuki MotoGP will be in action on Friday 11th April as Capirossi and Vermeulen take to the track for two free-practice sessions. Saturday will see a final practice in the morning followed by an hour-long qualifying session in the afternoon when both riders will be going all-out for the best grid positions they can obtain.
Sunday's race is round three of the 2008 MotoGP World Championship and the 28-lap race gets underway at 13.00hrs local time (12.00hrs GMT).
I am looking forward to going to Estoril. I really enjoy the track and I am sure it will suit the GSV-R quite well. We had a good race at Jerez and then in the test afterwards we found a couple of things, but we are still not where we want to be and we know it's going to be tough in Portugal. The crew are all very focussed and know what is needed and the more we ride the bike the more we are learning about it.
We certainly made some progress at the test after the race at Jerez.
We worked hard on tyres and we learned a lot from the test that will help us in the future. I cannot wait to get back on the bike and start getting the results that I expect of myself this year. We had a tough time at Estoril last year so we will be looking on putting that right straight away and working on making our way back up the leader-board!