MotoGP: Suzuki end 2007 on positive note in Phillip Island
Chris Vermeulen and Loris Capirossi have ended their 2007 winter testing campaign with a successful two-day session behind-closed-doors at the Phillip Island circuit in Australia.
While the majority of the MotoGP grid test at the Jerez circuit in Spain, Suzuki opted to move Down Under straight from the recent Sepang test in Malaysia, with Phillip Island one of the problem tracks for its factory GSV-R.
Suzuki released no lap times, but Aussie Vermeulen continued to ride the 2008 GSV-R prototype and said: “This has been a very positive test for us and we have got through loads of stuff during the two days. It’s quite difficult to gauge how well you are doing with no other riders here, but that has also been a positive thing as we have been able to get on with our job and not worry about other riders or lap times.
"I know my pace on the new bike was better than the race here in October, but that was not what this test was all about. We were here to find out what would make the bike work better and we have certainly made big steps towards doing that, we have learned a lot that will help us not just at Phillip Island but elsewhere as well.
It’s now just a shame that we have seven weeks off as I would like to continue working with the new bike and making sure we are as competitive as we can be when the season starts next March.”
New team-mate Loris Capirossi was also happy with progress as he completed nearly 200 laps at an exhaustive test session.
The veteran Italian said: “It was a very good test for me. I did nearly 200 laps and got through an incredible amount of work and we have found a good direction to go in.
"We got though our full test schedule and although we still have some things to improve, we now have a clear idea of what is needed and we are confident that we know how we are going to get there.
"I am really enjoying my time with the new team and it is now sad that we have to have such a long break, but I will come back refreshed and ready to get going at the end of January – I can’t wait for my first race on the Suzuki!”
When Vermeulen and Capirossi take to the track again on January 22 in Malaysia, they will have a new V4 engine to test for the first time as Suzuki looks to build on a successful 2007 campaign.
Vermeulen gave the Japanese factory its first four-stroke success with victory in a rain-lashed French GP, while John Hopkins also made his podium breakthrough with three top three finishes.