Jerez MotoGP Reaction: Loris Capirossi boosted by fifth
Loris Capirossi remains confident he can turn Suzuki into a regular MotoGP front-runner after he scored his best result on the GSV-R in the Spanish GP.
Starting 10th, the former Ducati rider made up three places on the first lap and found himself fifth on lap three when he passed Colin Edwards at the first corner.
Speaking to MCN in his motorhome after the race, the 34-year-old said: "It was a really exciting race for me. Qatar wasn't the best start but we believed in ourselves and we have done a great job.
"After the practice I was quite happy because with the race tyre my pace was not too bad. I thought maybe we could have a problem with the tyre and I started really well and pushed really hard to keep as close as possible to the front guys while I had grip.
"When I saw the grip was dropping off a lot I just tried to defend my position by braking really, really hard. It worked for a while because nobody passed me but I knew in the last couple of laps some riders were coming. First Andrea passed me and I could see he was quick but I passed him back. After that James passed but I was braking so late to stop them from passing me."
Asked if he was concerned at finishing nearly half-a-minute down off world championship leader Pedrosa he added: "We are far from the victory for sure but the level of our bike is improving a lot.
"We have to work a lot with Bridgestone because I used exactly the same tyre that John Hopkins raced last year. And that was not enough for this race because the pace was much quicker.
"I think we struggled with the tyre because at the beginning when I had a good feeling I was faster than the top guys and made the third fastest lap in the race. But the tyre dropped off too much. Bridgestone knows our problems because we still use last year's tyre and don‚t improve.
"I have too much spinning on the edge of the tyre. I am happy with fifth and we have to continue to keep going because Suzuki is working hard. I still believe in them and our potential is higher."
Capirossi continued to race with a hybrid GSV-R that featured the 2008 engine housed in a 2007 chassis and bodywork. Factory Suzuki team-mate Chris Vermeulen ran the same package on his way to a disappointing 10th place.