Qatar test: Loris Capirossi confident despite double crash

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Two big crashes on the final night of testing in Qatar did little to dent Loris Capirossi’s confidence that he will be a serious podium contender in 2009.

The veteran Italian took his first tumble at 820pm when he lost the front of his factory Suzuki GSV-R machine at Turn Six.

He was travelling at 100mph when he lost control under braking but luckily escaped injury.

His GSV-R though was badly damaged and the V4 motor was a write-off, though his mechanics built up a completely new bike in just 90 minutes.

Triple world champion Capirossi though had only done a handful of laps back out on track when he crashed again at the first corner just before 11pm as track and air temperatures plummeted to just 14 degrees.

Again his bike suffered serious damage as his mechanics faced another lengthy repair job.

Capirossi though finished sixth quickest overall with a best time of 1.57.253 and he told MCN: “Two crashes is not the best way to finish the test but I am still confident for the season. The bike is really and Suzuki has made a big step.

Team boss Paul Denning might have been hit with a hefty repair bill but he was relieved that Capirossi and Aussie team-mate Chris Vermeulen had escaped injury so close to the start of the new season.

Vermeulen had tumbled heavily on the second night – also at Turn Six – and Denning told MCN: “We’ve had three big crashes but thankfully Loris and Chris are still in one piece and we’ve got no injury worries going into the final test.”

Vermeulen impressed again on the final night, clocking a best time of 1.57.224 to finish fourth overall.

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt