Suzuki’s Capirossi Announcement

Henny Ray Abrams | June 23, 2008
The following release is from Rizla Suzuki:

Capirossi to return to Rizla Suzuki for Dutch Grand Prix

Rizla Suzuki MotoGP will be pleased to welcome Loris Capirossi back from injury for this weekend’s Dutch TT at Assen in The Netherlands.

Capirossi was an enforced spectator at the last round in Britain following an accident at Catalunya earlier this month, which sidelined the Italian star with a broken hand. The injury has still not completely healed, but Capirossi is determined to get back on his Suzuki GSV-R this weekend and continue with the bike’s development and to demonstrate the will to succeed that he has shown so far this year. His replacement at the last round – Ben Spies – will also be supporting the team at Assen and later in the season will return to the GSV-R for wildcard rides at both American MotoGP rounds.

Chris Vermeulen is confident of continuing with the improvement of the GSV-R and believes that the progress made at the recent Catalunya test and during the race weekend at Donington will translate into better results at forthcoming races – starting with Assen this weekend. Vermeulen will be travelling to his ancestral home, as his family name hails from The Netherlands, and he always enjoys plenty of Dutch support when he races there.

Assen is unique on the MotoGP calendar for being the only race to be staged on a Saturday, and also because it is the only venue that has staged a Grand Prix every season in the 60-year history of the sport. The track is located in the north of The Netherlands, near the town of Groningen. The 4,555m circuit has undergone some changes in recent seasons to improve safety and that has taken away some of the old magic from the famous racetrack, but there is no denying it is still one of the favourite places to visit on the calendar for riders and fans alike.

Rizla Suzuki MotoGP will take to track on Thursday this week for the first practice session, followed by another practice and qualifying on Friday. The 26-lap race gets underway at 14.00hrs local time (12.00hrs GMT) when the both riders will be hoping to give title-sponsor Rizla something to shout about in one of its most important territories.

Loris Capirossi:

“I’m 100% certain that I am able to ride and I just can’t wait to get back on my bike again. It was really difficult watching at the last race, but I want to say well done to Ben as he did a good job in his first GP. It certainly felt very strange seeing him working with my crew and sitting in my chair in the garage! I missed the test in Catalunya because of the injury, but I know Chris made some improvements to the bike so I will be looking at those and seeing if they will help me. I need to carry on from where I left off and continue to make the bike better and I know that top result is just around the corner.”

Chris Vermeulen:

“I started the race from pole at Assen last year so that is a good memory for me and one I would certainly like to repeat. However I was knocked off in the race by another rider so never managed to capitalise on that, and even though I finished I was out of the points. As for this year, we have made lots of steps forward recently and I think we had the pace to run in the top-five at Donington, but we had some grip issues later on that stopped me from challenging for a better position. It’s good to have Loris back and I hope he’ll be on the pace straight away as it’s important for the team to have the two of us out there battling it out.”

Henny Ray Abrams | Contributing Editor

Abrams is the longest-serving contributor at Cycle News. Over the course of his 35-some years of writing and shooting photos, he’s covered events from MotoGP to the Motocross World Championship - and everything in between.