It was another steady weekend for the Rizla Suzuki team at the Gran Premio bwin.com de España, with Loris Capirossi and Chris Vermeulen both finishing in the top ten again and both matching their qualifying results in the race.
A good showing for both riders in preseason testing at the track might have given hope of a more competitive package for the Italian-Australian pair at round three but after his sixth place finish Capirossi stated that more power is still required from the evolving GSV-R to take that next step forward.
Three times a race winner at Motegi, and starting from the second row of the grid on Sunday, hopes were high for a Loris Capirossi podium in Japan — not least on the part of the rider himself. Seventh place and his first points of 2009 were of little consolation to the Rizla Suzuki man, who revealed after the race that his aspirations extended much further than a top ten finish.
Seven months on from the previous visit, the MotoGP World Championship makes its annual journey to Motegi for the Polini Grand Prix of Japan.
Vermeulen Assesses Losail, Qatar performance.
Some significant close season improvements on the GSV-R and some decent preseason test results saw Rizla Suzuki head to the championship-opening Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar in good spirits, but things did not go according to plan.
A DNF following a high speed crash for Loris Capirossi and seventh place for Chris Vermeulen meant the race itself was something of an anti-climax for the team and they will be hoping for a much better showing next time out in Japan.