Silly Season Gets Sillier: Capirossi Looking To Leave Suzuki

While most of the silly season gossip focuses - quite understandably - on the fate of MotoGP's so-called Aliens, rumblings are also starting to emerge elsewhere. Perhaps the wildest of the other rumors currently doing the rounds concerns Loris Capirossi, whose tough season at the factory Rizla Suzuki team is starting to take its toll. According to the Gazzetta dello Sport (as reported by Autosport), and confirmed by GPOne.com, Capirossi's manager Carlo Pernat is looking around for a way to get Capirossi out of the clutches of Suzuki for next year.

Pernat has spoken to both Fausto Gresini and Lucio Cecchinello, looking to place Capirossi with one of the two Italian ex-riders. The LCR Honda option would require Capirossi becoming part of a two-rider team, something that would please Dorna immensely, but the problem for Cecchinello would be finding the budget. Perhaps a more realistic option for the Italian veteran would be a switch to Pramac, and making a return to Ducati, the manufacturer he scored his best results with.

The problem with all these options, Pernat told GPOne.com, was naturally one of money. In a satellite team, Capirossi could not command anywhere near the salary the Italian is receiving in his current position. The only factory options open to Capirossi would involve a switch to World Superbikes, a move that Pernat insists Capirossi is not interested in. But a satellite ride on a more competitive machine would be preferable to his current uncompetitive factory steed.

But perhaps the wildest of the current options Pernat is examining for Capirossi would involve a switch to Yamaha. Should Colin Edwards receive the call to ride the bike left vacant by Valentino Rossi - a move the Texan has insisted has a probability of "0.0%" - then Capirossi could switch into the Tech 3 team to take Edwards' place, in anticipation of a full-time ride with the team in 2011.

The obvious problem with that scenario is of course that Capirossi already has a contract with Suzuki, one which pays the Italian tax exile - Capirossi is currently resident in Monaco, though the Italian tax authorities dispute that reading of events - a very healthy wage. Breaking contracts - though sadly all too common nowadays - can be a very expensive business, and with a multi-million tax bill from the Italian internal revenue service, Capirossi may decide that discretion is the better of valor, and stay where he is until the end of the year.

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Comments

you could really sense Capirossi's growing frustration in his recent interviews, and these signs of degradation were emphasized by Denning's unusual appearance at the riders pre-event press conference, where he basically claimed that "substantial progress is being made with the bike that is not reflected in the results achieved by our riders". Ouch.

Capirex is such a great, scrappy racer, and has a reputation as a talented development rider as well. The slow pace of development with the GSVR reminds me of previous comments from Hopkins and stretching way back to KRJR that rider feedback/input seems to fall on the deaf ears of Suzuki engineers. In any case, I'd like to see Capi on a more competitive bike so he can soon snag is century podium, and in any case, moving to another team may be a wise move, as I wouldn't be too surprised if Suzuki pulls out next year.

Capirex star is on the decline. If you consider that once he fought with Valentino for victory, his current "market value" has to be low. And I guess that's the point. With enough young, talented riders hoping for ANY seat in MotoGP I don't see why a team should be interessted in a rider at the end of his career.

Capirex is a likeable guy, but quite frankly, I expect that he won't find a ride for next year.

He is too old. let it go.
Suzuki must be eyeing the 1000cc four cylinder. get Matt M to develop it
they only need to make the GSXR 1000 10kg lighter and with 10hp more and some how call it a prototype and it would win races in motogp

I think it's seriously time for Capirossi to think about retirement. There are too many riders in Moto2 willing to practically work for free and are extremely hungry for wins. One thing I do not understand is how Suzuki can make a great Superbike and do so abysmally in MotoGP

Capirossi was modestly successful on the Ducati (after Stoner the most successful). So Rossi and Capirossi on the Ducati next year would be an interesting result, both for racing and marketing reasons. However right now it is hard to see Ducati not being interested in Hayden for next year; and if he's not at Ducati, it's difficult to see Hayden on a factory bike, unless it would be at Yamaha, but you'd think Spies would be first choice there (behind Lorenzo) if Rossi does leave.

And in general I now give more credence to the rumors that Stoner will be leaving Ducati after this year -- his performance/results are really 'down' this year, which makes you think something is 'up'. Can't see Ducati settling for Hayden as the number one there, since they've become accustomed to much better in recent years.

Can't see any of the top riders being interested in Suzuki -- seems to be a graveyard there, a team which has failed to build on past success.

Capirossi needs to be realistic about his age and recent results, and be willing to take a big paycut if he wants to race next year. As Edwards did recently.

Interesting to speculate about what will happen to Edwards, who is also underperforming this year. At this point I half expect to see him out of a ride next year.

Said on Australian tv last night that CE2 was his preferred choice for Rossi's ride

Sooooooo we're talking about the guy that Suzuki, in its infinite wisdom, selected to extend a contract to over Ben Spies. I'm sure they're thanking their lucky stars over that little piece of management brilliance right about now.

I'll first state that I have loads of respect for Capi as a rider, for his career, for his longevity and timelessness.

Clearing that out of the way, I'm having a hard time believing that "oh but if he was simply on a better more competitive ride, well then he'd be fighting for top 5 finishes weekly".

It's unfortunate that he's unwilling to consider a WSBK ride because I'm betting he would be lighting fast there ala Biaggi but at this point in his career and at his current age forgoing a factory Suzuki ride for ANY other ride never mind a more competitive ride I don't think is realistic.

Consider that my $0.02

It is really too bad that Suzuki, for whatever reason, doesn't seem to be 100 percent commited to MotoGP anymore. They just don't appear to be focused on their future in MotoGP and I would not be supprised to see them drop out as soon as they can - unless the world economy improves significantly.

I would certainly hate to see that happen for a lot of reasons. I hope somehow Loris can stay in the "show" and get on a competitive machine, but most all good things eventually come to an end and he has had a good run over the years.

If he can't continue in GP I sure would love to see him "schooling" the WSBK boys!

Except in the case of a Suzuki. For years we have the same comments, lack of power, lack of drive, can't ride the thing when the temp's are down. You've got to say this is an engineering issue when the same feedback comes from a variety of riders over a prolonged period of time. Preseason Suzuki confidence is always relative to the season previous, however the other factories always move the line further forward again leaving Suzuki holding the baby yet again.

Capirossi for my mind still has the ability and he professes the desire. As stated earlier in this thread he did WIN and podium on the '07 Duke. Who else has done that except Casey? For sure he has podiums in him on a competitive ride. Why all the age bollocks? Most of you would be the ones agreeing that Bayliss retired too early!

Motorcycles fall over if you don't go fast. Fred Gassit - AMCN

We have 12 years of data in the premier class to say that even on a competitive bike Loris will at best podium a few times a year, maybe win the odd race and that's it. So why do people think this will suddenly change? He's had race-winning equipment under him for long enough that he would have fired by now if he was going to.

In my lounge-chair-expert's opinion he seems like one of those guys who is not 100% focussed or committed - can be good on his day but over a season not a serious threat. I also still remember him deliberately knocking down Harada to win the 250 title.

That's why Spies is a breath of fresh air, total commitment to the goal.

As for Suzuki, surely they need to make wholesale changes or give it away. Seems like they keep doing the same thing and expect different results. They should get Peter Doyle, Mat Mladin (not as a rider) and his entire Yoshi AMA equippe and make them the factory team, then run the Rizla team as a satellite for some extra data. Or quit.

If you remember his 250 days then why don't you remember his 2005 and 2006 seasons? I beleive he could have won the championship in 2006 if it wern't for his injurys from Catalunya and he won races in 2005 as well. Keep in mind that during those years, he was pretty much the only guy winning on the Bridgstone tyres and they were considered inferior to the Michelins at that time.

I can imagine that Capi is losing motivation in the Suzuki team and would be competitive again on a decent bike. Look at Melandri - he has shown that he still has the talent when he has the right equipment.

I'd say 05 was a perfect example of what I was saying, two superb wins, two other podiums, the rest midfield. Sure, Bridgestone were still new, the Duc may or may not have been truly competitive, etc etc.
2006 was certainly his best year, and I did actually trim mention of that out of my post to keep it brief. I totally agree he could/should/would have won in '06 but for being taken out at Catalunya, but that was an odd year in the championship.

I don't mean to be so down on him, he's a characterful guy and on his day a really exciting potential race winner. His wins have often been ones of pure speed, cleanly beating Rossi & co. But my point was more to say that, aside from being a bit long in the tooth, he is not really a realistic title contender in the mould of Rossi, Lorenzo & Stoner (& shortly Spies), and as such I would not think he's a big part of the silly season, nor someone who can really command a big salary AND a top-level bike.

Cheers

I see your Bollocks and raise you a plate of Bangers & Mash! Take that! Didn't see that coming did you huh?!!

HA! Seriously though. I agree it's mostly a function of the rider. As I recall the last time Suzuki had a committed rider with ample talent was KR jr. He'd always start races off in 1st or 2nd until he burned his tires up by the 4-5th lap and start to fade. I recall him pulling in to the pits out of frustration on a few occasions even though the bike hadn't broke down or anything. So yes agreed this seems to be a structural problem for Suzuki or as KR Sr. put it "I think Suzuki just got it wrong." Doesn't seem as though much has changed for them in the past decade.

Age not withstanding, I'm not sure I'd put Bayliss and Capirossi in the same sentence.

*edit*

Forgot to say, seeing Mladin as a rider (and his full Yosh crew) on that Suzuki would be a damn interesting experiment. I know for certain that after a handful of rounds you'd basically see the perfect control case of what the maximum that bike is physically capable of. Much in the same way you would have seen had Suzuki hired Spies when they had the opportunity.

"age not withstanding" i would not put Mladin and
Bayliss in the same sentence. As one surely recalls
it was 2006 when Bayliss rode the Duc in MotoGP *after* finishing another successful WorldSBK title run and won the race. Mladin rode in MotoGP years ago and nothing was to be seen. so please keep the 'Mladin is god' rhetoric down ;-)

Comparing Mladin's short run at Cagiva early on in his career to Bayliss' remarkable race at Valencia is misleading at best. If Bayliss' entire Motogp career was to be looked at, the results weren't terribly inspiring either, and obviously that doesn't paint the whole picture - he is an amazing rider, one of the best. Mladin chose a different path, but don't underestimate him, he was truly gifted, and had the focus and ability to be at least a world champion in Superbike, maybe more. Just ask Spies...

Mladin never actually rode a MotoGP bike... I'm guessing you're new to GP racing.

He rode their far scarier predecessors, the 500cc 2-strokes, and he did it when his team Cagiva was completely at sea with finances and organisation. Despite this he put in a pretty good rookie showing before the team folded.

On Bayliss racing in MotoGP and winning - no-one gets that opportunity normally, but Bayliss had 3 MotoGP seasons under his belt with some good results in the Ducati years, and it was a reasonable risk for Ducati to take with Gibernau out injured. He surpassed all expectations, of course, but Mladin could have done the same thing with three prior seasons on a MotoGP bike.

It's hard to imagine the three of them on the rostrum in MotoGP now, I guess those were the days for them. I mean, Vermeulen? Hopkins? Suzuki? On the podium in MotoGP???

When Capi crashed in Sunday's race he just shrugged with a little smile. I can't tell if he's been sacked, if Suzuki are withdrawing from competition altogether, or if Capi is already a goner and he was somewhat smug to see him crash.

Hard to say.

Capi on a Yamaha is better than seeing Capi backmark on a Suzuki.

I remember that. I thought it was a bit odd, too.
Hopefully it was just an apologetic smile or embarassed smile and not a smug one.

I thought it was merely a wry smile of resignation that the Suzuki curse continues to strike in so many ways.

For those of you that write Capirossi off, who exactly are the riders after the Aliens plus 1? That leaves 1 more factory seat worthy of the name. Capirossi is at least the equal of Dovi and Hayden - and I would suggest even better than that.