Qatar MotoGP: Suzuki optimistic ahead of 2009

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Factory Suzuki boss Paul Denning has told MCN of his optimism at the prospects of Loris Capirossi and Chris Vermeulen becoming regular podium challengers in the 2009 MotoGP world championship.

The new GSV-R, which features a completely revised V4 engine, chassis and electronics package, has been the major surprise package of pre-season testing.

Capirossi was third quickest in Sepang back in early February and in the top three again when winter testing concluded at the Jerez circuit in Spain last month.

Aussie Vermeulen has also been in impressive form and has finished consistently inside the top six.

And Denning is confident that Suzuki can return to the form it showed during 2007, when John Hopkins and Vermeulen were regular front-runners in the first year of the 800cc era.

Denning told MCN: “We don’t want to underestimate the opposition or over expect because it will still be super tough to finish in the top six, but we have got two riders who are capable of challenging for the podium week in week out.

“And if we can do that in Qatar and Motegi then I’m very confident as we move to the European tracks that have suited our bike well in the past then we might be challenging more regularly for podiums and race wins.

“We don’t particularly have a result written on a piece of paper that we have to achieve this year. They key point is to achieve significant improvement from last year.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt