Oct 13, 2008
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Rizla Suzuki MotoGP is on its way to Sepang in Malaysia for the third race in the Pacific tour, and the penultimate round of the 2008 season.
Chris Vermeulen and Loris Capirossi will be looking to finish the season in style as both riders are still in with a chance of higher placed finishes in the Riders' World Championship. Vermeulen and Capirossi currently occupy the eighth and 10th positions respectively and good results from the remaining two races at Sepang and then in Valencia could see them both move up the table.
Vermeulen will be making his third appearance in a MotoGP race at the Malaysian circuit and is determined to keep improving on his results there that have so far given him an 11th in 2006 and a seventh last time out in 2007. Capirossi will be taking to the Sepang track for the 10th time, and has experienced good success there with two victories and two further podium finishes, plus five front row starts - including two pole positions - from his previous nine visits.
The Sepang International Circuit was constructed in 1998 to bring Formula 1 to Malaysia and the track is modern, wide and with great facilities for teams, riders and fans alike. The lap starts and ends with two interconnected long straights either side of a stunning central grandstand. Further huge grandstands out in the country and a variety of corners over the 5,548m length make this a circuit where great racing and excellent viewing go hand-in-hand.
Rizla Suzuki will have an extra rider at Sepang as Team Test Rider Nobuatsu Aoki will be joining the squad as a wildcard rider. Aoki will be evaluating many new parts for the Suzuki GSV-R that are planned for the 2009 model, and a weekend's testing in a race scenario will certainly give the prototype parts a thorough shakedown in readiness for further developments in the winter tests.
Rizla Suzuki's three-man attack will take to the track on Friday for two free practice sessions, followed by a further free session on Saturday morning. The afternoon will be a qualifying session where all three will be battling for the best grid positions for Sunday's 21-lap race which gets underway at 14.00hrs local time (06.00hrs GMT).
"I am really looking forward to heading back to Sepang, as it's a track we have tested at and have proved that the Suzuki goes well there and let's hope that some of the test parts we tried at Phillip Island will be beneficial. It will also be great having Nobu there on some more development parts and that they will be an advantage to Loris and me, and we'll be able to use them in the race-team very soon."
"I am quite optimistic about Sepang as I really enjoy the track there and we made some really good tests there earlier in the year. We certainly got the bike working quite well there so let's hope with all the new parts we have had this year will help when we return. For us it won't be too easy because there are two really long straights, but I know we will all try to do our best, but sometimes that is not enough to get a good result so we hope that all the work the factory is doing will help us and we will keep trying as hard as we can over the next two races and see what happens."
"I can't wait to get to Malaysia; I'm very excited about racing at Sepang and working with Loris and Chris. This is my first race of the year and I enjoy the track as I have done hundreds of laps there in testing. It will be a very important weekend for me because I will be using many new parts that we hope will work well and the other guys can start to use as soon as possible."