Loris Capirossi is optimistic that his Suzuki team can be on the pace from the outset when MotoGP testing resumes in Malaysia later this week.
Although Suzuki was very rapid pre-season last year, its form tailed off as the 2009 campaign progressed. But after a winter of hard work at the team's factory, Capirossi is hoping to be back among the frontrunners at Sepang.
"It feels like a very long time since I was on the bike and just cannot wait to start riding again – I am even having trouble sleeping because I am so excited about getting back to work," he said.
"I know the guys at Suzuki have been working really hard this winter so we will hopefully be able to get on the pace – or close to it – from day one at Sepang.
"We are looking forward to a good package and I am also going to the factory after the test to do some work with the guys in Hamamatsu to try and make the bike the best it can be in time for the start of the season."
Capirossi said over the winter that he hoped to continue racing beyond 2010 if he remained competitive, and the veteran Italian emphasized that he was still highly motivated going into his 21st season at world championship level.
"After 20 seasons, I am as focused coming into this year as I have ever been and still really enjoy everything to do with MotoGP," he said. "I certainly feel like I have unfinished business in racing and a few more milestones to reach, so this test is the start of my preparations to making them happen."
Suzuki has replaced Chris Vermeulen with 250cc graduate Alvaro Bautista this year. The 25-year-old Spaniard said he was already settling into the team.
"I have already done a couple of tests, and the team seemed really happy with the job I did, but this time it will be my bike and I will also be in the team colors so that is another important thing," he said.
"I am confident of my ability on the bike and the initial feeling on the MotoGP Suzuki is quite natural for me, but I will not be trying to break any records yet – I need to learn a lot more about the GSV-R and find the limits step by step."
Testing starts tomorrow with a shakedown day for test riders – with Nobuatsu Aoki doing the honors for Suzuki – before the full field takes to the track on Thursday.