Lot of work to do' at Suzuki.
If there were any losers during day one of the season opening Spanish Grand Prix, Rizla Suzuki MotoGP would be high on the list - after riders, John Hopkins and Chris Vermeulen, were left just 14th and 16th on the Friday free practice timesheets at Jerez.
"I wouldn't say this has been the best of days," admitted Hopper. "We didn't get anything done this morning because it was horrible out on track. This afternoon we were playing around with settings because we just couldn't find the best set-up when we were here for the test. We will now re-look at what we had at the test and work from there because we know we can be a lot quicker than we were today. We've just got to keep chipping away and come back tomorrow as strong as we can."
Team-mate Vermeulen was only 0.374 seconds behind Hopkins as the rookie Australian recorded a best time of 1min 43.101secs from his 24 laps. He too tried many different set-ups and tested one of Bridgestone's possible new race tyre options brought to Jerez.
"It wasn't too bad today, obviously we would like to be further up the time-sheets but we used this afternoon to try out a lot of chassis stuff on the Rizla Suzuki - so it wasn't really all about times," he said. "We also tried a new Bridgestone tyre and some different electronics settings. The track was still a little patchy this afternoon so it wasn't as quick for me as it had been at the test. Hopefully tomorrow we can work on a few more things and make it all a little better."
One of the most frustrating aspects for Suzuki was that of the four other Bridgestone riders - from Ducati and Kawasaki - three were inside the top 5 on the day one timesheets, suggesting the GSV-R's Jerez pace problem lies elsewhere.
"After the test we knew that we still had a lot of work to do to be more competitive at this track and the weather today has really played against us," confessed team manager Paul Denning. "Losing this morning's session to rain meant that we had a lot to cram into this afternoon and because of that we didn't really get the results we wanted from either rider. Even though we needed to move forward from the test, today has felt like a backward step if anything! We've still got a lot of work to do tomorrow to get ourselves in a better position for the Grand Prix on Sunday."