MotoGP Test #1
The MotoGP season is about to get underway as the race teams are on their way to Sepang in Malaysia to resume preparations for the 2010 season. The Sepang test is very important, as it is the first of three tests scheduled before the 2010 MotoGP season opener at Qatar in March.
The post-season test in Valencia this week provided the teams with a good foundation for further development of their 2010 prototypes over the winter, with the MotoGP riders reporting positively on the initial responses of their new machines.
Casey Stoner was consistently fast on his new Ducati Desmosedici prototype across the three days (Monday and Wednesday were half-day sessions), testing new forks and a new engine configuration as well as a new rear Bridgestone tyre which several MotoGP riders also tried out.
Yamaha MotoGP wild-card rider, Ben Spies, will be making his debut 2009 MotoGP race appearance this coming weekend in Valencia. Although this is his first MotoGP showing in 2009, this will actually be Ben Spies’ fourth appearance in a MotoGP race.
If you remember back to last year, Ben Spies made three MotoGP starts on the Rizla Suzuki with the following results; at the British GP he finished 14th, at Laguna Seca he was 8th and at the wet Indianapolis GP he finished the top Suzuki rider in 6th after qualifying 5th on the grid.
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.