Teams Talk Dutch

Press Release | June 28, 2008

The following release is from Ducati Marlboro: Saturday Jun 28 2008 Round 9 – Dutch TT – Race SECOND STRAIGHT WIN FOR STONER, ANOTHER TOUGH ONE FOR MELANDRI Casey Stoner took his second consecutive victory and his third of the season at Assen, to complete a clean sweep after taking pole position and setting the fastest lap of the race. The Australian dominated the race from start to finish, closing the gap to new series leader Dani Pedrosa to 29 points and bringing himself to within 25 of Valentino Rossi in second place. On a day of typically changeable weather in Holland, Stoner started out well with the fastest time in a wet warm-up before carrying his dominance into the race. After briefly conceding the lead to Dani Pedrosa on the first lap he quickly reasserted himself and opened out an advantage that eventually stretched to 11.310 seconds over the Spaniard. Marco Melandri, who was himself impressive during the warm-up when he set the seventh fastest time, was unable to reproduce that form in the dry and eventually crossed the line in thirteenth place. CASEY STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team) 1st “We knew we had the pace to win today but sometimes coming into race day that can make you even more nervous because you know the only thing that can go wrong is yourself! I was also worried about the weather and after watching the 125 race I thought it would be typical to start raining whilst I was in the lead. Thankfully that wasn’t the case and I was able to get out front, put my head down and concentrate on doing the times we’ve been doing all weekend in dry conditions. I’m sorry Valentino crashed because this isn’t necessarily the way I wanted to recover points on him, but at the end of the day we’ve had our fair share of bad luck this year too and racing is an unpredictable game. Now it seems fortune is favouring us but more than that I’ve really got to take my hat off to Ducati and to my team. They’ve been doing such a good job over the past few races to get us back on the pace again and make us consistently competitive, so I want to say ‘thank you’ to all of them.” MARCO MELANDRI (Ducati Marlboro Team) 13th “It would have been good for me to have a wet race today. This morning things were going better and I was quite satisfied with the bike. Compared to yesterday the situation was much better, even though the front end still wasn’t perfect. Unfortunately though you can’t do anything about the weather, the race was run in the dry and the problems we’ve been having with the bike returned. I can’t get it into the corner, I can’t make it turn and I’m losing so much grip, especially with a full fuel tank. It was a very difficult race.” LIVIO SUPPO (Ducati MotoGP Project Leader) “I think that today Casey has once again shown not only that he has extraordinary talent but also great mental strength. Apart from Qatar it has been a tough start to the season for us but he has never lost his belief and that shows great character. We also need to thank Filippo, Vitto and all the guys at home once more because they have never stopped working to give Casey the technical support he needed to recreate that level of confidence and become unbeatable again, as he has been in the last two races. Huge thanks also go to our sponsors and technical partners, especially Bridgestone and Shell, who have always given us extraordinary support. Marco had shown promising signs in warm-up, which I think was his best ever wet session with us, but unfortunately he couldn’t repeat it in the dry during the race. Now he has two races on tracks he likes so we hope that this can help him discover a good feeling with his bike.” The following release is from Honda Motor Sports: PEDROSA TAKES CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD WITH PODIUM In a race packed with drama at both start and finish Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V) took control of the World Championship with a sound ride to second behind runaway winner Casey Stoner (Ducati). Colin Edwards (Yamaha) finished third when Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC212V) ran into machine trouble on the final lap. Edwards snatched the rostrum spot on the line as Hayden coasted forlornly across. Uncertain weather was a factor in both the 125cc and 250cc Grands Prix held prior to this 26-lap race around the sinuous 4.555km Circuit van Drenthe, but the track remained dry despite brooding skies throughout this eventful MotoGP race. Dani launched his RCV off the line clinically quickly and headed the pack into turn one with Stoner inches behind him and Nicky fending off Shinya Nakano (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V) in fourth, the Japanese having burst through the field from ninth on the grid. As the riders filed into the slow left-hand Horseshoe turn Valentino Rossi (Yamaha), who had not enjoyed the best of starts, lost control of his machine and collected the blameless Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda RC212V) in the crash. Rossi restarted, De Puniet could not. Another lap one victim, this time of his own invention, was Alex de Angelis (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V). With two Honda men down and out, there was encouragement at the front of the race with Dani, Nicky, Nakano and Andrea Dovizioso (JiR Scot Honda RC212V) in the top five. None would be able to make any impression on Stoner however. The Aussie World Champion relieved Dani of the lead at the end of lap one and was never again troubled as he powered to a decisive win, his third of this 2008 campaign. Nicky harried Dani for second early in this race, but in only his second outing on the pneumatic-valve-engined RC212V he had to consolidate third place as the contest wore on. It looked as if the Kentucky Kid would achieve his first podium of the season, but he would be denied – freewheeling to the flag as Edwards sped past. But the signs for the new machine are encouraging, despite today’s disappointment. Nakano rode his strongest race so far this season but faded in the second half to come home eighth. It was an encouraging performance from this intense campaigner. Dovi road another strong race to finish fifth and confirm his status as the most successful of the Honda satellite riders so far. There were just 13 riders on track in the final laps, laps where Rossi overhauled Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati) to take 11th place and garner a valuable five points after all looked lost on lap one. Of concern to all World Championship hopefuls will be the margin of Stoner’s victory – 11.3 seconds – a little too convincing for comfort. The implications for the World Championship are substantial: Dani now heads the standings after another podium, his eighth in nine races, with 171 points, Rossi sits second on 167 and Stoner now looks a serious title threat with 142 points and the momentum of a winner of consecutive races. Dani said: “I’m happy with this result because it was a difficult race and I’m happy to be in the World Championship lead once again, the 20 points we got here are very important. We’ve struggled a little bit during practice here, but my team have worked really hard, so a big thanks to all of them. Yesterday I was able to qualify on a MotoGP front row for the first time at Assen. Today I did my best in the race but unfortunately we couldn’t go with Casey because he was so fast. Now we need to keep working hard because we must try to close the gap over the next few races. Sachsenring is next. We had a great win there last year and we will try to do the same again this year.” A resolute Nicky, fourth, said: “Man, we had a pretty good race. Unfortunately this game can be cruel sometimes. To be so close to a really good result is tough, but we still finished, we made it across the line and still got some good points out of the deal, but it would’ve been nice to stand on the podium. The team certainly deserved it, they’ve worked really hard this weekend. I had a dash light come on at the start of the race, though it went off after the start. She finally quit right before the finish line. Nonetheless the bike is working good. Now they’ve got a week and a half to hopefully sort it out in Japan and we can keep moving on.” Dovi said: “I’m very happy with this fifth place, I believe this is the maximum we could achieve today. I started well and in the early stages I was faster than some of the other riders, managing to stay in front, even though we started from the fourth row of the grid where usually it’s hard to recover and get with the leaders. Yesterday I thought we would be able to have a better rhythm, but our result today could not have been better. We struggle to fight for the podium positions and it seems that fourth or fifth is ‘our’ position in the race. We are working well and happy with the results, even if we want better!” Nakano in eighth said: “I’ve finished ninth for the last three races and our objective today was to improve on that! Eighth place isn’t a fantastic result, but the most positive thing about this race was the start. I got away really well and managed to get straight into a good pace. Unfortunately after a few laps my rhythm dropped off and I lost positions, from fourth back to seventh. I would have liked to finish higher but I’m still happy because eighth isn’t bad and I think we’ve taken a step forward today.” Non-finisher De Angelis said: “I started quite well but Valentino and De Puniet crashed in front of me coming onto the back straight and I had to slam the brakes on, allowing a couple of riders past. In the next corner I’d barely opened the throttle when the bike lost grip and threw me into the air. It was probably the tyre that wasn’t up to temperature and I just lost control, the rear came around and I crashed. Luckily I’m not hurt and I’m looking forward to the next race.” Crash victim De Puniet said: “We deserve a lot better than this. Since the beginning of this weekend my pace was consistently fast and I could stay with the top five riders today. I made a very good start and was in the fifth position when Rossi crashed and I was ‘in the wrong place at the wrong time’. We both went in the gravel but he rejoined the race. Probably he arrived too fast and lost the rear hitting my bike. I’m very disappointed because we could have fought for a good result here.” The following release is from Tech 3 Yamaha: Edwards third after late Assen drama, Toseland back in top ten Tech 3 Yamaha rider Colin Edwards was involved in more late drama at Assen today as a stunning surge from the back of the field was rewarded with third place. For the second time in three years, Edwards was involved in dramatic incident at the final chicane with Nicky Hayden as he snatched third from his fellow American just metres from the finish line. Fourth at the start of the last lap, Edwards produced a brilliant display of overtaking to come from dead last on the opening lap as he narrowly avoiding an early tangle between Valentino Rossi and Randy de Puniet. Producing lap times close the formidable pace set by eventual winner Casey Stoner, Edwards fought his way back into seventh when he passed Jorge Lorenzo on lap 10. He then quickly closed on an exciting battle for fourth that included Chris Vermeulen, Andrea Dovizioso and Shinya Nakano. Reeling off a succession of personal best laps, Edwards passed Nakano at the start of lap 13 and a lap later claimed fourth with brilliant moves on Vermeulen and Dovizioso. Trailing Hayden by over seven seconds on lap 15, Edwards halved the deficit by the last lap, but having settled for fourth, he grabbed third with Hayden encountering machine problems exiting the final corner. Today’s result was Edwards’ second podium of 2008 and moved him to within 16-points of Lorenzo in fourth place in the championship standings. James Toseland made a welcome return to the top ten today despite encountering some small front-end set-up issues during the 26-lap encounter. His points though helped the Tech 3 Yamaha team consolidate fourth in the Team World Championship standings. Colin Edwards 3rd – 98 points : “Third is never a win, but this feels as good as one. I remember how disappointed I was with third in Le Mans and I feel much better with this after what happened. I thought I had a good start and was fifth or sixth when Valentino got tangled with Randy de Puniet and he crashed. I might have gone left but I knew Valentino was on the ground and I didn’t want to run over him or his bike and I just stopped. The next thing I know is I’m dead last and then Alex de Angelis went down soon after and I lost a bit more ground. I just decided to get my head and push. I thought I’d rather be in the gravel than riding round for eighth or ninth. I started picking guys off and before I knew it I was on the back of the group fighting for fourth. I just kept pushing myself to go faster and the next thing I’m fourth. I could see Nicky and Dani in the distance and all I did was ride as hard as I could and my Tech 3 guys gave me a great bike today. Michelin had some great tyres so I started to hammer away at Nicky. I thought if I kept applying pressure he might make a mistake and if I hadn’t kept pushing as hard as I did then I might not have been close enough to pounce on Nicky. I’d settled for third but as I came out of the chicane he was sat up, and I couldn’t believe it. I guess that’s karma corner after 2006. This place owed me something after I crashed a couple of years ago with my first win in sight, and I’m really happy with third just because in the way I achieved it. It’s hard to get on the podium at any time in MotoGP, so to do it from last is a great feeling.” James Toseland 9th – 60 points : “We tried a completely different setting on the front and we had quite a few problems because riding was just not that comfortable for me. It is nice to get a finish under my belt and get a top ten to build on from here because there is no doubt we have got some work to do and we need to find a direction with the bike. The shorter bike seems to be a lot more sensitive to changes but the mixed weather is really killing us at the moment as we try and make some big progress. With all the wet time we are not moving forward in the dry. In the last six races there’s been a wet day and to only have one day to get the bike dialled in is difficult, even on tracks that I know. It is frustrating to watch and frustrating for me to be down in ninth position and I know I have got work to do. We are quite a way off with the setting and it is up to me to make it better. I’m not riding any worse than I was before but we have hit a bit of a brick wall. Sachsenring is another new track and I’ll have a think about where we are at over the next few days, watch some videos of the races so far and try and work out where we can improve.” Herve Poncharal – Team Manager : “Colin was incredible today. I was really upset after what happened on the first lap because he has always been very fast this weekend and we were convinced with the pace he had shown that he could have challenged for the podium. This is racing but Colin was last and we thought it was over. When we saw his pace we had even more regret, so we were just thinking about what might have been. But he made an incredible recovery and we can’t believe this podium. When I saw him come out of the chicane and pass Nicky it was an incredible emotion. His lap times were very impressive and close to Casey’s, which was not easy to achieve this weekend, so I think he deserved this. Nobody wants to see what happened to Nicky but today it was Colin’s turn to have the luck after what happened in 2006. I am really happy for the team and I’m also pleased for James because he has been riding at a competitive pace and he was fast in all conditions. After the disappointment of Donington it was important for him to get a solid result and both have helped us stay close to Ducati in the team championship.” The following release is from Fiat Yamaha: ROSSI BATTLES ON AFTER CRASH TO TAKE VALUABLE TITLE POINTS A rare mistake from Valentino Rossi resulted in a first-lap crash for the Fiat Yamaha Team rider today, but he remounted and made up a gap of more than 20 seconds to pass two riders and finish in 11th place, despite riding with a broken gear-shifter and a bent handlebar. His team-mate Jorge Lorenzo rallied in the later stages of a difficult race to finish sixth, whilst Tech 3 rider Colin Edwards kept the Yamaha flag flying on the podium by taking third. Rossi had slipped back some places when he made his mistake at turn five and slid into the gravel, unfortunately taking Randy de Puniet with him. Points were still a possibility however and he re-joined the race, despite the damage to his bike and a gap of 24 seconds to Marco Melandri, the next rider. He then embarked on a heroic ride, consistently lapping as fast as the leading riders and closing the gap lap by lap until he finally came within sight of Melandri, eventually passing him on lap 19 of 26. Four laps later he passed Toni Elias to take 11th and five championship points, finishing 46 seconds behind race-winner Casey Stoner. With Rossi’s closest championship rival Dani Pedrosa finishing second, his gutsy ride could prove crucial in the championship race. The Italian’s first non-podium finish since the opening race of the season means he has surrendered his title lead to Pedrosa but he is adrift by only four points, the pair on 171 and 167 respectively. Lorenzo retains fourth place in the championship, 28 points behind Stoner with exactly half of the season remaining. Valentino Rossi, Position: 11th Time: +46.025: “After seven podiums in a row I made a mistake today – this is racing! I am very disappointed because we made a change to the set-up of the front and it worked very well, and I could tell from the warm-up lap that my bike was very good today. Unfortunately I made a mistake at the first left; I arrived too fast when the tyres were still cold, I was too hard on the brakes and I lost the rear. I am sincerely sorry to Randy de Puniet and all of his team. After the crash I had a bent handlebar and no gear shifter, but despite this I was able to do the third fastest lap time, 37.1! I know I could have been faster than Pedrosa today and, although it’s easy to say now, I think I could have fought with Stoner for the win. I am glad for these five points and although we have lost the lead we are not far behind Pedrosa. I am looking forward now to some more technical improvements for my bike and being fast, together with Bridgestone, at every track.” Team manager Davide Brivio: “This was a good race for Valentino, except for the first lap! The crash was unfortunate and we’re very sorry to Randy de Puniet and the LCR team; we apologise to them all and we hope that Randy is okay. Once Valentino remounted what he did was simply amazing, especially without a gear-shift and with a bent handlebar! For several laps he was the fastest rider on the track, which shows once again his spirit and determination, although it’s also disappointing because it’s clear that we could have done a good race today. These five points today are incredibly important because they have kept the gap to Pedrosa to just four points, with half of the season still remaining. Now we will just have to start again in Sachsenring and hope for a better weekend!” The following release is from Fiat Yamaha: LORENZO HOPING FOR MORE NEXT TIME AFTER SIXTH PLACE IN ASSEN Fiat Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo took sixth place for the second Grand Prix running in the 60th Dutch TT today, the youngest rider in the class making up one place on his grid position. His team-mate Valentino Rossi made an uncharacteristic mistake and crashed out on the first lap, although he was able to remount and finish in 11th to take valuable championship points. Yamaha’s record of having at least one rider on the podium at every race so far this season was kept alive by Tech 3 pilot Colin Edwards, who took third. Lorenzo held onto his seventh grid slot at the start but he was unable to find his rhythm and go with the leading riders, gradually tailing off on his own. On lap ten Edwards passed him on his charge through the field and Lorenzo spent the middle part of the race a lonely eighth. In the later stages he began to feel more confident in his Michelin-shod bike and his lap times improved, enabling him to catch first Chris Vermeulen and then Shinya Nakano to take sixth. Ten points for the Spaniard today means he holds onto fourth place in the championship but the gap to Casey Stoner, today’s winner, is stretched to 28 points. Rossi’s important five points means he is now four behind Dani Pedrosa in second. Jorge Lorenzo, Position: 6th Time: +28.608: “I said yesterday that the most important thing for me today was to finish after everything that’s happened recently, so this is a good thing. However I am not happy about the race because it wasn’t fun today and I had some problems, although, as in the last few races, my bike became easier to ride towards the end of the race. I must just take comfort now in the fact that we have two weeks until the next round, and hopefully by then I will be feeling a lot better. We are trying to go step-by-step but of course I want to do better than this. Valentino was not so lucky today but I want to say well done to him for finishing and taking some important points.” Daniele Romagnoli, Team Manager: “It has been a difficult race weekend for us, we weren’t able to find a good race pace in the practices and today Jorge wasn’t able to fight for the top positions. We have some problems on the rear and the bike is very nervous under acceleration. The team have worked very hard to improve it but we still have some more work to do. Overall however we are quite happy because our aim for these two races was to finish without any more crashes, and we have been able to do this. We are confident that in Sachsenring we will be able to be back in the fight.” The following release is from Alice Team: BEST PERFORMANCE OF THE SEASON FOR GUINTOLI: TENTH. ELIAS CONCLUDES IN TWELFTH POSITION. A day much similar to yesterday with wet track in the morning and a dry race in the afternoon. Sylvain Guintoli, who started from the tenth position, didn’t make it to start well losing two positions in the first turns, but after the unlucky falls by Rossi and De Puniet, he found himself in tenth position at the end of the first lap. In the first few laps the French rider didn’t make it to find the same rhythm registered in yesterday’s sessions and only after two third of the race he improved his performances reaching in the last lap Toseland. The British rider made it to defend the ninth position on the finish line. This has been for Guintoli the first top ten of the season that demonstrate the good step forward taken. His teammate, Toni Elias, didn’t make it to solve the problems encountered in the past two days and had to be content with the final twelfth position. In two weeks his opportunity to step up for the Grand Prix of Germany, on the Sachsenring circuit. Sergio Verbena – Sylvain Guintoli’s Track Engineer “Sylvain has done a good race. He has committed a couple of mistakes and this cost him one or two positions. I think that only some hundreds of meters and he could have overtaken Toseland, but we can consider our self satisfied of this first top ten of the season. He found a good riding style to manage the bike and I believe we can do the same or even improve in the next Grand Prix in Germany.” Sylvain Guintoli – Alice Team rider (10th in the race – 16th in the MotoGP Classification) “I am happy for how it went the weekend overall and this is very important for us. I am sorry only because I thought I could have done better today. The race rhythm wasn’t the same of the past two days. I committed a mistake when I was behind Toseland and while trying to solve it I went out of the track losing some seconds. Without that mistake I would have surely finished in front of him if not even further up. It is strange because here and in Donington I registered my best lap times in the last five laps of the race: I have to find the way to be much more competitive since the first laps. I must thanks my technicians: they always gave their best and if today we made it to enter the top ten it’s also thanks to them.” Toni Elias – Alice Team rider (12th in the race – 12th in the MotoGP Classification) “Today nothing went well. I didn’t enjoy it at all. We have to forget all we have done to do much better in the second part of the championship. With the Team, Ducati and Bridgestone I am sure we can do much better. The only consolation I have is that I finally made it to finish a race in Assen in the major class: I never made it for various unlucky reasons.” The following release is from Kawasaki: DOUBLE BLOW FOR KAWASAKI IN ASSEN After the disappointment of the qualifying crash that sidelined John Hopkins, the Kawasaki Racing Team were dealt a double blow at Assen today when Anthony West crashed out of the Dutch TT just 7 laps into the race. The 26-year-old Kawasaki pilot got a good start from the sixth row of the grid, but lost contact with the group ahead of him after losing time avoiding Alex De Angelis, who highsided himself out the race on the opening lap, right in front of West’s Ninja ZX-RR. With his head down and his lap times the same as the riders battling for fourth place, West fought his way back to 11th position and was starting to close the gap to the group ahead of him. Another top ten finish looked a distinct possibility for the Kawasaki pilot, until he lost the front under braking for the right-hand corner at Stekkenwal and crashed out of the race. With Hopkins already on his way back to America for further medical treatment by the time West lined up to start the 26-lap race, the Australian’s premature exit marks the first time this season that a Kawasaki has not made it all the way to the chequered flag. While obviously disappointed with today’s result, West remains confident that the recent engine upgrades to his Ninja ZX-RR will allow him to make amends in the next race in Sachsenring, which takes place in just two weeks time. Whether Kawasaki teammate Hopkins will be riding alongside West in Germany remains to be seen. The 25-year-old Anglo-American will undergo a bone scan in Los Angeles next week that should reveal more about his two tibia fractures and the crack in the lateral malleolus bone of his ankle, sustained when he collided with the tyre wall on the outside of the ultra-fast Ramshoek corner. Only once the full extent of Hopkins’ injuries are known will a decision be made as to whether he will rejoin West for the German Grand Prix in Sachsenring. #13 Anthony West- DNF “I got a good start to the race, although it was difficult from so far back on the grid because the first turn is quite tight. I had made up a few places when Alex de Angelis highsided in front of me and I had to almost stop the machine to avoid hitting him. The bike was feeling good and in the next few laps I managed to pass a few people into 11th place. I was sure I could catch the group ahead of me and be well within the top ten, but we were lapping at a similar pace and with the incident at the start, I had to push just that little bit harder. Unfortunately I lost the front of the bike and crashed out, which is a real disappointment because we were quite strong today. The new engine upgrades have made a difference and we still have more grip than previously, despite struggling a little bit in places with cornering. We just need some luck on our side and, hopefully, we’ll be fighting for good positions next time out at Sachsenring.” Michael Bartholemy Kawasaki Competition Manager: “We’ve made a lot of improvements this weekend, so it is quite disheartening to come away with no points. John’s injuries from the crash yesterday ruled him out of the race, so all of our hopes were on Anthony, who I felt sure was capable of repeating his top-ten Donington success. The incident at turn one left him quite a long way back, but he rode hard to pass a few people into 11th place, and was catching the group ahead of him. His lap times were consistently fast and it’s a real frustration because with the upgrades we’ve made this weekend, he was very capable of achieving a good result. We now have to focus on taking advantage of the developments we’ve made at the next round.” The following release is from Rizla Suzuki:Vermeulen battles to seventh at Dutch TT Rizla Suzuki MotoGP racer Chris Vermeulen was involved in a thrilling race at the Dutch TT today, eventually crossing the line in seventh place after many race-long battles. Vermeulen got a good start and was up into sixth by the end of the first lap – from eighth on the grid. He narrowly avoided a crash that forced him wide in the early part of the first lap, but was able to keep control of his Suzuki GSV-R and set about chasing riders in front of him. Vermeulen made a couple of superb overtaking manoeuvres as he made his way up into fourth place. He held on to that position for a few laps although he was under constant pressure from the group of riders around him. As the race progressed front grip became an issue and the 26-year-old Australian had to fight for every place. Vermeulen dropped down to eighth, but immediately fought back to bring his machine home for a hard earned seventh. Vermeulen was Rizla Suzuki’s sole rider at today’s Grand Prix following the withdrawal of Loris Capirossi after a crash on Thursday during practice when he injured his arm. Capirossi was present at the circuit for most of the day and has now returned home to continue with his recuperation in readiness for the next event. Today’s race was held in overcast conditions with the threat of rain never far away. It did stay dry throughout the 26 laps and the 94,978 fans at trackside saw Casey Stoner comprehensively win the race by over 11 seconds, as he led from start to finish on his Bridgestone shod Ducati. Rizla Suzuki MotoGP will next be in action at Sachsenring for the German Grand Prix on Sunday 13th July, where it is planned that Vermeulen will be joined back in the team by Capirossi. Chris Vermeulen: “I got a good start and moved into a good position through the first two corners, but I was nearly involved in the crash and had to run wide causing me to almost lose the front. The bike worked really well in the beginning part of the race and I had a lot of grip from the Bridgestones. I felt like my pace was better than the guys in front and I could see them and thought I could get up to them, but once I got past and up into fourth the grip went off a bit and it became quite slippery out there. Unfortunately I lost a bit of time and dropped back a few positions, but I was still quite strong at the end of the race and managed to get back to seventh. Considering the problems we have had this weekend and losing a couple of sessions – one to problems on the first day and another to the rain – it is a decent result and we have managed to salvage something from it. Full congratulations to the team they did a great job again, and I’d like to say get well soon to Loris, I hope he is back at Sachsenring so he can give me a run for my money!” Paul Denning – Team Manager: “To qualify eighth and finish seventh in dry conditions today – with Chris as our sole representative – was not too bad. Sure, both Chris and the whole team want more and he pushed hard to get up to fourth with some great passes, but we couldn’t maintain the required speed in the middle of the race to battle for the top-five. In the end when Chris re-grouped and pushed to the absolute limit he was able to improve again, but in general we need to break this mould and maintain our speed over full race distance – this is Suzuki’s focus over the coming weeks. “I’d like to thank Loris for staying with the team over the weekend to support us, and for meeting all the local Rizla and Suzuki guests that came to visit the team – it really showed his true dedication considering the amount of pain he was in. 

By Press Release