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GP Week : Issue 56
>>Moto GPnews Capirossi’s ultimatum to Suzuki ALTHOUGH Chris Vermeulen’s future at Suzuki looks uncertain, veteran team-mate Loris Capirossi was thought to be almost certain to stay at the Rizla-backed factory team for next year. But not if he makes good on his threat to quit. Fed up with the GSV-R’s poor performance and lack of improvement, Capirossi has now told the team he will look elsewhere next season, unless there is are radical changes by the next race, the Czech Republic GP at Brno, in three weeks. This was privately confirmed by his manager Carlo Pernat, who said they were demanding at least a concrete schedule of improvement at Brno, and preferably long-awaited machine upgrades. “The bike has hardly improved all year, while everyone else has been developing,” said Pernat. Already far from strong, the machine is very sensitive to changes in conditions and temperatures, making it difficult to improve from one session to the next. Brno sees the second round of post-race tests this season, and manufacturers frequently bring new parts for testing, for use for the rest of the year. The Suzuki riders will be hoping not only for more engine power, but also a more stable and predictable platform for the V4 engine. Testing slashed for 2010 PRE-SEASON testing, already cut this year in response to the credit crunch, will be cut back even more radically for 2010, with just six days at two different circuits for riders to try their new machines for the forthcoming season. This is less than half the testing time enjoyed in the 2007/8 break, while a more rationalised travel schedule promises to slash costs still further. One casualty is the preseason test in Spain, a traditional March taster where all teams are present, competing in an internationally televised dash for the first prize of the year, a BMW sports car. Whereas teams once went to Malaysia three or more times in the winter break, as well as to Australia and more recently Qatar and then Spain, they will now test only at Sepang in Malaysia and at Qatar. The Malaysian tests will be a couple of weeks apart, so that equipment and machines can be left in Malaysia in the interim. The Qatar test will be a couple of weeks before the first race of the season there, for the same reasons. “Even only that will save a lot of money in travel costs,” said one team manager. For this year, a one-day test after Brno and two days after the last round at Valencia are already on the calendar. Last year’s November tests will not be repeated, however; while there will also be two oneday tests after races next year, plus two days after the last round. 17