He Said, He Said

Press Release | July 17, 2009

The following is from Suzuki…Capirossi (P12, 1’23.705, 27 laps) found vital information during the hour long session which he is sure will enable him to improve dramatically over the weekend. He is less than a second from the fastest time of the day and is in a confident mood as he prepares to put the data to good use as soon as he takes to the track tomorrow.Vermeulen (P16. 1’25.161, 19 laps) had a session he would rather forget. After starting this afternoon on the wet set-up bike, he immediately ran into some issues that forced him back to the garage and to miss a part of the session. As the track dried out – following an earlier thunderstorm – Vermeulen took to the circuit on his Suzuki GSV-R and quickly made improvements that started to see his lap-times come down. After coming in to make further changes he returned to the track and went quicker again, but then disaster struck as he hit one of the wet patches still on the 3,671m German track. Vermeulen lost traction from his rear wheel and at first it looked like he would slide into the gravel, but the rear tyre then gripped and viciously threw Vermeulen high in the air causing him to land hard on his hip that he had previously injured at Laguna Seca in the last race. He was able to walk away from the accident – although in obvious pain – and will certainly be doing all he can overnight to make sure he is fit to ride tomorrow.This afternoon’s session was held on a damp, but drying track after a huge thunderstorm soaked the circuit just before the start of proceedings. All riders started on wet tyres, but changed about half-way through to slicks as the track dried out to give enough grip. Today’s fastest time was set by Casey Stoner on his factory Ducati.Rizla Suzuki has one more practice session tomorrow morning with an hour of qualifying in the afternoon. Sunday’s 30-lap race is round nine of the MotoGP World Championship and the lights go out to signal the start at 14.00hrs local time (12.00hrs GMT).Loris Capirossi:

“The conditions today were very strange, because we started with wet tyres and after about half-of-an-hour it was good enough to change to dry ones. I stayed out as long as I could to try and find a good rhythm with just a basic setting so we could understand how the bike was working. We found out a lot of information that will certainly help us to work in the best way possible tomorrow. Although we are 12th – which is a pretty poor position – we do have a lot of data to use tomorrow and I think we will make some big improvements.”Chris Vermeulen:

“It has not been the start to the weekend that I would have wanted! The weather wasn’t ideal and we went out on the wet bike at the beginning, but I had an issue with that and missed a bit of the session. The guys seemed to overcome the problem and I was able to go back out and do a few more laps in the damp conditions. About half-way through we went out on slicks – even though it was still a bit patchy in places – and we were making steps with the bike. I went back out towards the end of the hour and the bike was a big step forward, which helped me get my lap-time down. As I was going across one of the puddles I think I was pushing a bit too hard and had a bit of a slide and crashed. I landed on the same side that I injured in Laguna so I’m not in the best of conditions, but I am sure I’ll be fine tomorrow and we’ll make some big steps forward.”Paul Denning – Team Manager:

“The most important thing from today is that Chris wasn’t badly injured in his crash, and despite aggravating the injuries from Laguna Seca, there doesn’t appear to be anything that will stop him from gritting his teeth and carrying on competing this weekend at Sachsenring.”As for Loris, the position isn’t great, but he appears to have a good base feeling with the bike. He didn’t follow any other riders to set his times and he has been building step-by-step. Most importantly he is very clear on where we can improve on the bike to take some good steps for the weekend. Hopefully some of that information can help Chris out and give him a decent start point tomorrow.”The following is from Yamaha…A torrential downpour which ended just as the first free practice session began at the Sachsenring today made for a mixed opening to the German Grand Prix, with Valentino Rossi finishing a promising third and his Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo ending the day in 11th, but just seven tenths off the lead.The session began on a soaking track, which gave the riders an opportunity to work on their wet settings for the early part of the hour, before the tarmac rapidly began to dry out in the warm conditions and a dry line started to appear. Rossi was happy to find his M1 working well throughout the changing conditions, finishing up with some fast laps at the end when the track was almost completely dry. Lorenzo, who is still recovering from the separated shoulder and fractured foot he suffered at Laguna Seca, was content with his start despite his position in t he time sheets. The 22-year-old was able to complete an important test on a dry set-up, which did not leave him enough time to set a fast lap at the end when times were tumbling, but he hopes to make more progress and feel stronger on the bike tomorrow.Valentino Rossi – Position: 3rd Time: 1’23.088 Laps: 29″This was quite a strange session because we had all sorts of track conditions and then at the end it was basically dry and I was quite fast. It was a good chance to work on the rain setting and I am pretty happy because the bike felt good and our times were also quick on the wet track. It seems we have a good setting immediately here for all conditions, because it continued to feel good as the track dried and the nature of the asphalt changed. We have some things to improve, especially the feeling and general balance in the faster parts of the track, so we will concentrate on this tomorrow. Right at the end we had a bit of traffic or we could have been faster, but anyway we’re still third so I think we are in good shape. It seems Bridgestone have brought good tyres for this track, of course there is no intermediate tyre whi ch is always going to be a bit difficult in these sorts of conditions, but I don’t think it was a big problem today.”Jorge Lorenzo – Position: 11th Time: 1’23.496 Laps: 28″I am not at 100% and in fact my injuries don’t feel as good as I had hoped on the bike, which is disappointing. I have decided for the first time to use the leathers with the airbag and I want to say that I feel much more safe! This isn’t the best track for me, the slow corners don’t really suit my style and when I am not at full fitness it makes it more difficult, but today was okay considering the conditions. During the early part when it was wet I was reminding myself of the track, and then when it was dry later on I didn’t really have enough time to go fast because we had some things to check on the setting. But there are 12 riders all very close together, within seven tenths of a second and I am not worried because it was a strange day and not one for making conclusions. The forecast tomorrow looks similar tomorrow but let’s hope it is wrong!”The following is from Repsol Honda…The Repsol Hondas of Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso were separated by just 0.3s seconds in today’s first practice for the German Grand Prix, yet finished in second and ninth places on the timesheets as the Sachsenring circuit produced a typically tight session. A heavy rain shower before the session meant the hour-long practice started wet and ended dry, with Pedrosa eventually dipping fractionally below his race lap record – set here on his way to victory in 2007.Pedrosa, who is looking for a second consecutive victory after his win in Laguna Seca two weeks ago, is strong at this circuit and proved this once again despite the mixed conditions, finishing just 0.255s behind the fastest time set by Casey Stoner. He and his factory Honda team-mate were riding with the latest specification engines in their RC212Vs, designed to further improve the race machine’s driveabilty and to enhance power delivery in the middle of the rev range.Dovizioso was fast in both wet and dry conditions, briefly topping the timesheets after 15 minutes on a wet track before appearing on top again as a dry line emerged. As the times tumbled in the final few minutes the Italian was able to up his pace further and finished just 0.591s behind Stoner. However, on a day when the top 12 riders were covered by a single second this was good enough only for ninth place. Like his team-mate, Dovizioso is confident of further progress in tomorrow’s practice and qualifying sessions. DANI PEDROSA – 2nd, 1m 23.034 “As a first practice session here, this has been pretty good for us. The track was wet at the beginning and then began to dry out, which made things a little complicated, but it was the same for everyone and we made some progress. I have to say that at the beginning in the wet I took it easy after what happened last year, but actually, when I saw the rain before the session I thought, OK, we can pick up from where we left off and change the outcome. We rode with the new engine today although, because of these mixed conditions, it wasn’t really possible to draw definite conclusions – but the feeling was positive. We need more laps to fully evaluate the engine, so we’ll continue with that tomorrow. The main goal is to set the bike up as best as possible for any conditions – rain or dry – ready for the race.” ANDREA DOVIZIOSO – 9th, 1m 23.370 “Even though the track conditions were not ideal, we already felt some improvements from the new engine that Honda has brought for us this weekend. The situation wasn’t perfect for a comparison test because we started with a wet track and then it started to dry, so we began with the current version of the engine and then we did the last run with the new one. The feeling was good both in wet and dry conditions and we did a lot of testing without focussing too hard on setting ultimate lap times, so I’m confident for tomorrow. We’ll continue with the set-up and tyre testing work tomorrow, and continue to evaluate the new engine. Today we couldn’t use the hard Bridgestone tyre option, but it will be important to test it in preparation for the race. The weather forecast looks really mixed. Of course we would prefer dry, but we we’ll see.” KAZUHIKO YAMANO – REPSOL HONDA TEAM MANAGER “This was a good start for the team and initial feedback from the riders is positive. We need to study carefully the information we gathered today and, because the conditions were varying right through the session, we probably won’t be able to draw too many firm conclusions just yet. There are also a few areas of the machine package we still have to work on to get the ideal set-up, so we’ll work on the plan for tomorrow’s sessions in readiness for whatever the weather will throw at us.”

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