Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Racers Chris Vermeulen and John Hopkins recorded the fastest times on race tyres during the final day of the Jerez test in Spain today, Vermeulen setting a time marginally outside the current lap record, with team-mate Hopkins narrowly behind him.
Vermeulen's time of 1'40.766 was set during Bridgestone race tyre development tests and his quickest lap was only bettered by riders using qualifying tyres. The Australian star worked hard all day long, trying many different chassis and engine settings and conducted thorough Bridgestone tyre tests during his 84 laps.
Hopkins' time of 1'41.049 was an improvement on his best lap-times from the previous two-days. The Anglo-American also conducted comprehensive tyre tests during his 81 laps and is confident of further improvement when testing resumes next year.
Rizla Suzuki MotoGP now begins an enforced six-week test ban, but the effort will not stop for the team as it works on all the data gathered at the last three tests to improve the GSV-R800 in readiness for next year. Vermeulen and Hopkins will resume their testing schedule at Sepang in Malaysia on Monday 22nd January, as the MotoGP circus prepares itself for the 2007 MotoGP World Championship beginning at Qatar in March.
"Today was the best day weather-wise for us and we got through a lot of stuff. I did over 80 laps and we learnt a lot of things. I did some long tyre runs for Bridgestone and tried many different engine and chassis settings and got some positive outcomes. Personally it is the fastest I have ever been round Jerez and it was great to spend more time on this circuit. We gathered a lot of information here and the guys have a lot to work on during the test ban. They will hopefully be able to prepare an even better bike for us and we'll come back even stronger in Sepang."
"Once again I'd say it's been a really good test for Suzuki. I'm pleased with the way things have gone this week. On the last day we've made some big improvements to the bike and got through a lot of stuff. We worked hard with Bridgestone and I think we got the maximum out of the tyres and the bike here. We've tested strong at all three tests so far and I can happily say we are - like I've said before - in a better position than we ever have been since I've been at Suzuki. It looks like it could be a really competitive season for us next year! Now it's time to go home and put in the hours on the bicycle and the treadmill and get myself ready to race next year!"
Paul Denning - Team Manager:
"It's been another great test for Rizla Suzuki MotoGP and a positive end to a good season's work. The GSV-R800 has performed as well as it did in Valencia and Sepang, and the durability was perfect. Today especially, both guys got through masses of work. Neither rider used qualifying tyres, but if they had I'm sure they would have been at the top of the timesheets. As it is, we were pleased to maintain consistent lap-times and speed and make sure that we have the best basis we could possibly have for when we arrive at Sepang in January to continue the development of the new bike."