As it heads to Spain
Rizla Suzuki MotoGP has made the long trip back to Europe from Japan for the latest round of the 2009 World Championship, as the MotoGP circus heads to Jerez in Spain for the third round of the 2009 MotoGP World Championship.
and Chris Vermeulen travel to the 4,423m long Spanish circuit in high hopes following a promising performance at the Andalucían track in last month's final pre-season test.
Capirossi recorded the third fastest lap during a timed 45-minute official practice session, Vermeulen also put in a good display by riding his Suzuki GSV-R to fifth position in what was the first competitive action of 2009.
"I have been very disappointed with the first two races because the weather has meant we haven't been able to get the work done that we have wanted to on the bike, so it is good to go to a track where we have done some testing at already this year”, commented Capirossi. “We are going there with a good base setting and that should make the bike work pretty well straight out of the box. I am aiming for a high position this week, not just for me, but for all my crew and everyone at Suzuki because they really deserve it!"
"I'm really looking forward to this weekend in Jerez, it's a great circuit and has an iconic feel to it - I've certainly watched many of my heroes race around there!”, said Vermeulen. “We had a very good pre-season test there and I am looking forward to getting back on track and making the most of what we discovered there last month, in terms of set-up and tyre performance - especially as the track had just been re-surfaced.
I hope that I can qualify on at least the front two rows and then I'll be able to challenge at the front right from the start and try to get on the podium!"
Following the first two rounds of the year which have been plagued by heavy rain that has caused cancellations to proceedings at both events, the whole MotoGP field will be hoping for better weather on Spain's southern coast.
Jerez is the traditional first race on the European leg of the calendar and a huge crowd is expected to witness the event. The frenetic pace of the fans at trackside certainly makes this one of the must-see races in MotoGP.
Rizla Suzuki takes to the track at Jerez on Friday afternoon for the first of two 45-minute free practice sessions. The second is on Saturday morning, followed by 45-minutes of qualifying in the afternoon. Sunday's 27-lap race gets underway at 14.00hrs local time (12.00hrs GMT).