MotoGP: Loris Capirossi eager to try 2008 Suzuki in Sepang

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Loris Capirossi said he is keen to evaluate Suzuki’s prototype 2008 factory GSV-R machine in Malaysia next week after he made a positive start to winter testing in Valencia. 

The Italian made his Suzuki debut in Spain and continued an impressive start on the final day, clocking a 1.33.163 to knock 0.1sec off his best time from yesterday.

That was 0.3sec faster than his best lap in last weekend’s Valencia MotoGP on the Marlboro Ducati as he rode the 2007-spec GSV-R which had been campaigned for by John Hopkins.

Loris Capirossi completed 64 laps today and resisted the temptation to jump on a prototype version of next year’s GSV-R used by Nobuatsu Aoki and Chris Vermeulen.

After a successful transition from Ducati’s GP7 machine, which he struggled to get to grips with all season, Suzuki will give Loris Capirossi one 2007 bike and one 2008 bike in next week’s Sepang test.

He told MCN: “I’m really looking forward to it. Chris rode it for the first time here and he said it was a step forward on this year’s bike, which I’m really happy with. So that it is a good start.

“I felt comfortable as soon as I got on the Suzuki. When you jump on a new bike and you don’t go fast or feel comfortable straight away, you are in trouble. But that wasn’t the case.

“I leave here much happier than I expected and I know this was the right choice for me. I only ever used standard tyres and was able to do some fast lap times.

“I made the same comments that Chris (Vermeulen) and John (Hopkins) made throughout the year. We need a little bit more top speed but I really like the chassis, and Chris said the new one is better for turning.”

Chris Vermeulen rode the 2008 prototype for the first time today, completing a massive stint of 88-laps, as he also had to assess a range of new Bridgestone tyres.

He clocked a best time of 1.32.979, which was a drastic improvement on his best race lap last weekend.

“I was consistently half-a-second quicker on the new bike, and we haven’t got the new 2008 engine yet, so that is pretty encouraging,” the Aussie told MCN.

Suzuki won’t unveil its new V4 motor until the Sepang test on January 22, 2008 when testing resumes after a seven-week testing ban ends.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt