The Rizla Suzuki team heads to Sachsenring, Germany, this weekend for Round 8 of the MotoGP Championship with some incentive: both riders, Álvaro Bautista and Loris Capirossi, are coming off the best finishes of each of their seasons last round in Catalunya.
At Catalunya, Bautista rode his GSV-R to a fifth-place finish, and Capirossi to seventh. Bautista has some luck in the 250cc Class at the 2.281-mile circuit; in 2008 and 2009 he qualified on the second row and raced to the third step of the podium in both races.
He is hoping to carry some of the "home" form he showed at the last race in Spain – where he finished an excellent fifth – to Sachsenring and continue to improve on a MotoGP machine as his strength and confidence grows following his early season injury.
Álvaro Bautista says: "The last race was the first time I have felt like I could ride the bike how I wanted to. I feel stronger now and I’m sure I will be 100% when we get to Germany. It is a quite a difficult track, but I have had a couple of good results there on a 250 so I hope that will help me on the MotoGP bike. We know we still have a lot of work to do, but as usual we will be working as hard as possible to get the bike right and trying for a good result."
The opposite luck occurred for Capirossi last year, as the Italian struggled, finishing 11th.
Loris Capirossi says: "We must continue to work how we did at Barcelona and find the best solution for the bike. We know that the bike can perform well and we need to keep the positions we got at Barcelona, this is where we should be and at some races we can be even higher. The team is still so focused and we know what we have to do. I think we can go well in Germany and the GSV-R will work there and we’ll get a good result."
Sachsenring is traditionally one of the biggest events of the season with more than 200,000 fans turning up over the weekend. It is also the shortest race of the year with only just over 110kms covered during the 30-laps.
The first part of the track is as tight and twisty as any MotoGP circuit, followed by a sequence of six successive left-handers that really give the motorcycles and thier tires a hard work-out before a blind right-hander leads to an epic downhill straight. It’s a track that’s all about grip rather than out-and-out speed and always a circuit that brings plenty of excitement.
Rizla Suzuki begins its preparations on Friday with an hour of free practice. This is followed by a further hour on Saturday morning with qualifying in the afternoon. Sunday’s 30-lap race is round eight of the season.