Rizla Suzuki MotoGP is in Spain for the second Official MotoGP Test this week, the final round of testing in readiness for this season's MotoGP Championship.
The test will be held at Jerez on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with the final day featuring an all-exciting 45-minute televised timed session in the afternoon. The rider with the fastest time from this session will drive away from the test in a brand-new BMW car.
Rizla Suzuki MotoGP will be represented at the test by Chris Vermeulen and Team Test Rider Kousuke Akiyoshi. John Hopkins is unlikely to be able to ride this weekend due to the injuries he sustained after his high-speed crash at Qatar last week.
The 4.4km long Jerez track is a great test arena for the new range of 800cc motorcycles. It features short, medium and long corners, plus both uphill and downhill braking sections over its undulating layout. It is a track that requires a good chassis set-up and Hopkins and Vermeulen showed that Suzuki were on the right lines when they conducted a positive test at the Spanish circuit last November.
Akiyoshi is joining the Team to both assist in the further development of the GSV-R800 prototype bike, and to familiarise himself with the layout of the track in preparation for his debut there as a wild-card rider in next month's Grand Prix.
The three-day test will also see Rizla Suzuki MotoGP officially launch the new GSV-R800 on Thursday evening in front of an invited audience. Full reports on the unveiling and the progress of the Team will appear on this site during the three day test. For more information on Rizla Suzuki MotoGP and to receive up-to-date news and information visit www.rizla-suzuki-motogp.co.uk and register with the free to join fan club.
"This is the last chance that we have to make any significant improvements to the bike in a test environment. The bike is pretty good at the moment but we are always looking for a bit more. It will be good to get some competitive action with Sunday's timed session. I know it's not a race but it is nice to have that extra edge. It's such a shame that John might not be fit, but it is more important to him and the Team to make sure he's 100% for Qatar, I know he'll be helping us as much as he can and wishing he was out there."
"I am very much looking forward to testing at Jerez. I was always coming here so I could learn the track for next month's race. It is now even more important for me to be here as John has some problems. I want to do very well and will give Rizla Suzuki MotoGP my best performance."