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Wednesday, 5th March 2008

This weekend's season opening Qatar Grand Prix, the first ever MotoGP race to be held under floodlights, looks set to be a tense event for Rizla Suzuki.

After some promising performances at Sepang, the factory squad had a 'complicated' time at Phillip Island, Jerez and Qatar - where a wide range of technical options, rather than fine tuning, were used to try and get the GSV-R project back on track.

That work will continue during practice and qualifying for this weekend's race, before new signing Loris Capirossi makes his 'emotional' Suzuki race debut on Sunday night.

"This is a very exciting race for me as it is my first time racing a Suzuki and I am really looking forward to that, as it will be an emotional time for me," said the former Ducati

star. "I really feel like part of the Suzuki family and they are doing everything possible to help me.

"It will also be the first race we do at night and that adds to the excitement. We have tested in Qatar under the lights for two-nights now and they are very good to ride under.

"We have done a lot of testing leading up to the first race and we are almost ready, we will use the practice days to sort out a few things, but I am sure on race-night we will be 100% prepared and ready to go!" he reassured.

Team-mate Chris Vermeulen will start his third season in MotoGP, and third at Suzuki, this weekend - providing he can stay awake for the late start!

"I am really pumped up about the whole forthcoming weekend. Not only because of the thrill of riding in the first race and at night, but also because I can't wait to get back racing - that's what I do!" said the enthusiastic Australian.

"We have done loads of testing since the end of last year and have now got a good base package to work with on the 2008 bike, so we will certainly be looking to get a good result at Qatar on Sunday.

"It's a whole new experience for us to race at night, the NASCAR guys do it in America and Formula One

will race at night later this year, but I'm sure this race will create a lot of interest and a lot of spectators will be watching to see how it goes. For me the toughest part is staying awake ? I'm an 'early to bed' type as I said before the test - but I'm sure I'll be alright!" he smiled.

Capirossi and Vermeulen will take to the track on Friday evening for the first two practice sessions of the 2008 season.

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is anyone expecting big things from these two this year? last year i was really expecting hopkins to well, which he did imo, but i dont see capirex and vermin doing a whole lot....... in the dry anyway.
 
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