''I am a bit upset with the result''
Rizla Suzuki's Loris Capirossi fought all the way to the finish line at Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix, as he battled to a hard won sixth place at a hot Jerez.
Capirossi started from the second row of the grid, but he had to change
his rear tyre as he lined up to start the race and it took him couple of laps to get it up to temperature - causing him to be relegated down to ninth position on lap three.
He then got involved in a three way battle with Marco Melandri and Colin Edwards as the trio swapped places for the rest of the race. On the final laps Capirossi made an effort to get up into fifth, but lack of grip caused him to run wide and back to seventh. He quickly composed himself and attacked again on the last lap as he and Edwards traded places a number of times. Eventually Capirossi came out on top in the final corner to grab sixth place.
"I am a bit upset with the result, because we had a problem with the tyre and had to change it on the grid and that cost us some places at the start. We put in a new one and for the first two laps it did not work as well as I would have liked. After it settled down I pushed hard and chased Marco and Colin and tried get past them”, he said. “I did that but the grip dropped off pretty quickly and they went back past me, so I played about with the traction control to find the best solution. I found a good setting and although I was fighting a lot with the bike I was able to stay with the two of them. In the last three laps I tried to overtake and I got past Colin and went by Marco, but I braked too late and ran wide and they both went back past me. On the last lap I overtook Colin again, but there wasn't enough time to get Marco. We want to go much better than this, but we have to work harder, because although the bike is not too bad we have to take some big steps!"
Chris Vermeulen started from 10th on the grid and got off the line well, but he was hit by a couple of other riders in the first corner and lost his position. By lap two he was down in 14th place, but the true racer spirit showed through as he set about chasing the riders in front of him.
By lap 24 of 27 Vermeulen had made his way up to 10th place, but a higher position was beyond him as the riders in front were too far away to catch.
"I got a reasonable start off the line, but I came together with a couple of other riders in turn one and lost my momentum. It was a bit difficult as I had a couple of Ducatis around me and with their straight-line speed they were a bit hard to get past. Once I got by I thought I would be able to pick up my lap-time, but we struggled with front grip and I wasn't able to”, he said. “The track temperature was a few degrees hotter today and it seemed to affect us more than it did some others and we have to work out why. I am disappointed with 10th because obviously the goal was to be nearer the front. We will now re-group and get to work on the next race."
Sunday's race was held in hot and sunny conditions as air temperatures reached 26ºC and the track rose to 50ºC. A huge Spanish crowd of over 123,000 people saw reigning World Champion Valentino Rossi win for the sixth time at Jerez, a result that lifts him to the top of the championship.
Rizla Suzuki MotoGP now makes the short trip across Europe to Le Mans in France for the next round of the 2009 MotoGP season on Sunday 17th May.