Loris Capirossi put a dismal 2007 MotoGP campaign behind him with second place in today’s Sachsenring clash.
The veteran Italian avoided the problems suffered by a host of Bridgestone riders as he chose to run a slightly softer compound rear tyre that carried him to only his second podium of the season.
Loris Capirossi was also using a revised V4 GP7 motor for the first time in a race today. He recently tested a new engine spec at the Italian MotoGP in Mugello but opted against racing it because it was down on top speed and horsepower compared to the ‘standard’ motor campaigned by team-mate Casey Stoner.
The 34-year-old though ran the motor today after Ducati engineers modified it for better speed performance.
Fifth at the end of the first lap, Capirossi quickly disposed of John Hopkins on the factory Suzuki on lap two before he moved into second place on lap 21.
He made a double swoop at the first corner to pass the fast fading Marco Melandri and Stoner, who were both suffering with rear grip problems.
Loris Capirossi said he too had pre-race concerns about tyre endurance but his tyre choice was spot on as only dominant Spaniard Dani Pedrosa beat him.
“For sure I was worried. We decided to use a completely different tyre than everybody else and for sure mine is one of the best.
“When we start the race I said to my team, the first part I try to start well and I don’t’ want to push really, really hard to not destroy the tyre. This is my tactic.
“In the beginning I just stayed behind Marco for position. I tried just to follow. When I saw Casey and Marco start to have a problem I could continue with my rhythm and I kept my pace.
“In the last six laps I could see Nicky (Hayden) coming, but I have a lot of advantage and I conserve my second position. This is really good for me,” said Capirossi, who has struggled to make an impact in the new 800cc era.
His last podium was a third place at the Turkish GP in Istanbul and Capirossi added: “Well I forget the bad moments because it’s a long time since I got on the podium. This moment is the best for me.
“I am really, really happy. The first part of the season is really bad. I’m thinking and I hope from now something has changed and I try to do my best for the last part of the season.
“But anyway for me it’s amazing, an amazing week actually because all my team have worked really hard. We try to find the best solution and for the race we changed completely the bike.”
A crucial weight distribution change to give him more confidence in the front end was critical in helping Capirossi return to the podium, while team-mate Casey Stoner struggled back in fifth with rear grip problems.
“The weight distribution was a big change I find a good way for me to go quick again. I change a lot the bike. Because for me to ride well I need a lot of front end confidence.
“And with this bike I’ve never had good confidence with the front. And this is why we change a lot the distribution so we have more weight on the front and I got a good feeling again,” said the former world 125 and 250 champion.
Loris Capirossi added his performance showed he was still one of the world’s top riders and that it would be foolish to write him off after a troublesome opening half to the season.
“For sure, I don’t want to stop now. When I go badly like I have been, I don’t want to stop, because this is not my position, not my right position.
“And now I try to push again really hard, I try to work really hard and I am back again and for sure my mentality is still strong. I don’t lose confidence to ride a bike. This for me is everything.”