At a sunny Jerez
Rizla Suzuki racer Loris Capirossi used today's one-and-only test session at Jerez in Spain to full effect as he put his Suzuki GSV-R on the provisional front row.
Capirossi (1'40.011) was one of the busiest riders on track, completing 21-laps of
the 4.423m Spanish circuit, as he worked towards finding the optimum tyre and bike set-up for Sunday's 27-lap race.
He knows there is still work to do over the weekend, but is confident of a good result on Sunday as he continues to go in search of his 100th podium.
"It was not too bad today, but we still have a lot of work to do. We still have a bit of a problem with getting the right tyres for here. We have already used the hardest tyre we have - but it is not hard enough for us!”, he said. “We will have to adjust the bike a bit so that we use a bit less tyre. Anyway I feel very good on the bike and I know that when we fix the problems we will go quicker and we will try our best for a good result here."
Chris Vermeulen (1'41.063, 20 laps) made steady progress during today's 45-minute session, ending the day with the eighth fastest time and a lot of information that he hopes will point him in the right direction tomorrow.
"It's been good to come back to Jerez, because it's a track that we tested at not so long ago so getting up to speed was quite quick for everyone”, he said. “We had the two bikes set up a little bit different to try a couple of different things geometry wise. Basically it was to help with front feeling - which I struggled a bit with at the test here - and we definitely took a step forward.
We have the same compound tyres this weekend as we did at the test and at the moment they seem to be working a bit different. I think the most important thing is to make the tyres last the race distance and keep them in a reasonable condition, so that is what we are going to be working on tomorrow. Hopefully we'll be able to do that and have some good speed for qualifying and the race!"
Today's free practice session was held in warm and sunny conditions with air temperatures at 23ºC and the track surface rising to 48ºC. Today's fastest time was set by reigning World Champion Valentino Rossi.
Rizla Suzuki MotoGP has one more practice session tomorrow morning. This is followed by a timed qualifying session in the afternoon to determine grid positions for Sunday's 27-lap race. The third round of the season gets underway at 14.00hrs local time (12.00hrs GMT) on Sunday 3rd May.