Rizla Suzuki MotoGP fired up for first test of 2008
Rizla Suzuki MotoGP is heading to Sepang in Malaysia in an eager mood, to begin this year’s testing in readiness for the 2008 MotoGP World Championship.
Chris Vermeulen and new Suzuki signing Loris Capirossi will join up with the rest of the crew from around the world at the 5.5km Sepang International Circuit on Tuesday 22nd January, for the first test of a busy pre-season schedule before the opening race of the season at Qatar on Sunday 9th March.
The Suzuki Factory Engineers have been working in a methodical and focussed manner during the enforced winter break to ensure Vermeulen and Capirossi can continue with the positive testing on the 2008 Suzuki GSV-R, as shown in last year’s post-season tests at Valencia, Sepang and Phillip Island. Team Test Rider Nobuatsu Aoki will join the two Rizla Suzuki racers to assist with the thorough test programme that the team will undertake during the three days in Malaysia.
Sepang will be the first time that new signing Capirossi will appear in the recognisable Rizla blue, as the experienced Italian star begins his Suzuki career. It will also signal the first official sighting of Vermeulen running the iconic crossed seven – made famous by Barry Sheene – on his GSV-R.
“I can’t wait to get back on the bike and start testing again. We made really good progress during the tests at the end of last year and I have been in constant touch with my Crew Chief Tom O’Kane, and from what we have been told the bike is looking good for this season. This is my third full year in MotoGP so it is a very important time in my career and I need to be performing at the top of my game from the start. I believe I am in the right team and with the right bike and we can make a big impact in 2008!”
“This is a great time to be with Suzuki, I believe that I have joined a team that is very much on the way up. I was pleased with the way the bike behaved in the tests last year and am very excited about what we will have to test in Sepang. For sure it is not going to be easy this year as other teams will have improved their bikes, but I feel we will be able to compete with anybody. We need to get into the tests and make sure we can get the best set-up and performance from the bike in time for the first race. You don’t win races in tests but we have a good chance to make sure that we are in the best position to win them when the season starts by using these upcoming days to make every possible improvement that we can.”