Capirossi staying with Rizla Suzuki

Vermeulen squeezed out

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Aug. 27, 2009
Loris Capirossi will stay with Rizla Suzuki to compete in the 2010 MotoGP Championship.

The veteran racer, currently the oldest on the MotoGP circuit, will sign a one-year contract extension during the Aug. 28-30 Indianapolis Grand Prix. Capirossi will race with the up-and-coming 24-year-old Alvaro Bautista for Rizla Suzuki.

“I am very happy to continue working with Suzuki and everyone involved with the Racing Group and the team. I love working with my crew and feel really at home here,” says Capirossi. “When I joined Loris Capirossi will return with Suzuki for his 13th premier-class season.Suzuki I really wanted to win races and this is still the target. I love the competition and the challenge and my ambition to succeed is as strong as ever. We are 100% focused on developing the GSV-R into a race-winning machine and the improvements that have come through recently show that Suzuki is working in the right direction. I am pleased to have signed again at this time of the season as it gives me a great motivation for the rest of the year and an incentive to get the bike ready for 2010.”

Rizla Suzuki describes Capirossi as a “highly respected and influential figure”, qualities that should help with the development of both the GSV-R and Bautista who will make the jump from the 250cc class to the premier MotoGP class in 2010.

“Loris brings so much character, bravery and experience to Suzuki, and his technical input is invaluable. He still has an enormous drive and determination to succeed – we now have to react to his requests and give him the tools to be as competitive as possible,” says Team Manager Paul Denning. “We hope that Loris, with the youthful exuberance of Alvaro alongside him next season, will be a good partnership. Loris is a great team-mate but certainly won’t want to be beaten by the younger guy so I am sure he will be fighting hard!”

Chris Vermeulen, with his photographer girlfriend Toni in the background, looks into a future beyond Suzuki.The signings of Capirossi and Bautista means Chris Vermeulen is no longer in the team’s plans. Vermeulen has been with the team since 2006 and has earned seven podium appearances for Suzuki including a win in the 2007 French Grand Prix at Le Mans. Vermeulen currently sits tenth in the championship standings, only five points behind Capirossi in ninth.

“On behalf of Suzuki Motor Corporation and the whole team, including title sponsor Rizla, I want to wish Chris the best of luck in his future career,” says Denning. “He has been a great asset to us and a true professional at all times – even when things have not quite gone to plan. We have had some amazing high-points with Chris – taking Suzuki’s first four-stroke Grand Prix win at Le Mans in 2007 being the obvious highlight. We hope that he continues to have success throughout his career and trust that Chris, Toni (Vermeulen’s girlfriend) and his family will always remain friends of the team.”