From difficult first day
Rizla Suzuki MotoGP will be looking to improve significantly on today's first day of the GMC Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island, with both its riders confident of doing so.
John Hopkins and Chris Vermeulen struggled to find the best
setting on the Australian track and were disappointed with their first day's efforts, but both riders are certain of better things during tomorrow's final practice and the afternoon qualifying sessions.
Hopkins clocked the 12th fastest time overall during his 52 laps in the two sessions. His time of 1'31.496 was recorded in the morning as the Anglo-American tried many different setting patterns in the afternoon but was unable to better his earlier time.
Vermeulen (P14, 1'31.846, 46 laps) also worked hard with his crew to find the best set up and they were quite pleased with the steps that they made throughout the day. Randy de Puniet was the quickest rider today on his Bridgestone shod Kawasaki.
Tomorrow will see Rizla Suzuki MotoGP have one more practice session before the hour long qualifier in the afternoon to decide grid positions for Sunday's 27 lap race.
I have to say that this has not been one of the best first days of a Grand Prix. We know there is a lot of grip with the tyres because Bridgestone are doing really well out there on other bikes. There are a few things we need to work out with the bike. We have to get it turn a bit better but I'm confident that I can sit down with Stuart and the boys and get the best possible solution for tomorrow. We know there's grip so it's time for us to go out there and get it done!
We made quite big steps with the bike today.
We didn't really know where we were going to start because last year Kenny had an accident on the first day so we didn't have a lot of data, plus we didn't test here in the close season like a lot of others did. I am quite happy with the steps we made, but we are still looking to get the best out of the rear grip that the Bridgestones are giving us. The guys are working hard and I'm sure we will be a lot stronger tomorrow.
Paul Denning Team Manager:
Not an easy day's work for either rider today. On race tyres we are about a second off the pace, which doesn't sound too much, but it is quite a gap to close. The Bridgestones front and rear are working particularly well and seem to have good consistency, but we're struggling to generate the grip that our Bridgestone competitors are, so therefore we have to look for ways to assist the tyre as much as we can and find a setting for the GSV-R that will put us right up there with the others.
Both guys look like they are trying hard maybe even over-trying on such a flowing circuit and the whole team is now focussed on improving our potential and bouncing back from a difficult situation.