2006 MotoGP Championship - Round 13 - Sepang, Malaysia - September 8/9/10 - Coverage by MCNEWS.COM.AU
Suzuki Day 3 Report
|John Hopkins raced his Rizla
Suzuki GSV-R to a superb sixth place at today’s Malaysian Grand Prix
in Sepang after being relegated to 14th on the first lap.
Hopkins started from eighth on the grid but was boxed in at the first corner and was lucky to avoid an incident that saw the two Kawasaki team-mates collide. At the end of the lap one he had moved up to 11th and then set about the task of chasing the riders in front of him. He picked them off one by one and made his way up to sixth, but he was unable to get into the top five as he ran out of laps whilst still closing fast. His sixth position carries on his run of top 10 results and closes the gap on the riders ahead of him in the Championship table.
Team-mate Chris Vermeulen also had a strong race but was hampered by starting from 16th on the grid after yesterday’s qualifying practice was cancelled. He too passed many riders early on and finished in 11th, despite a lack of fitness at the end due to the illness he has suffered all weekend.
Today’s race was watched by 43,182 fans that were treated to a fantastic battle between Valentino Rossi and Loris Capirossi for the victory. Reigning World Champion Rossi finally came out the victor on his works Yamaha.
Rizla Suzuki MotoGP now travels straight to Phillip Island in Australia for the next round of the 2006 MotoGP World Championship in seven days time, a race that will see Chris Vermeulen race in front of his home crowd for the first time as a factory Grand Prix rider.
Paul Denning – Team Manager:
“Despite the frustration of such a
bad start John kept his head and rode an awesome race.
Congratulations to him, Stuart and his crew on a good weekend’s
work. Chris has suffered physically all weekend and his condition
cost him over the second half of the race but probably not as much
as yesterday’s cancelled qualifying session. Nonetheless he set his
fastest times during the race, pushed hard and scored valuable
points in his efforts to get into the top 10 in this year’s