Loris Capirossi has urged Suzuki to get on top of its power deficit after falling from first to fifth in the closing stages of the Italian Grand Prix.
The veteran rider had charged to the front of the field with some extremely quick lap times on slicks on a still-damp track, and briefly led after overtaking eventual winner Casey Stoner. But Capirossi was unable to hold off his rivals on Mugello's long pits straight and was pushed back to fifth by the checkered flag.
While still satisfied with his performance, he said it could have been a much better result if his Suzuki had been able to hold its own on the straight.
"I tried my best today and we nearly got the result the whole team deserved," said Capirossi. "When I came in to change my bike I was quick immediately and I tried to catch Casey. When I did, I thought I'd done a good job to get there but from then it was very difficult to stay with him and keep a distance from the guys behind.
"The whole team worked so hard this weekend and we tried to find the best solution for today's conditions and the bike felt like it had a good rhythm in both the wet and the dry. We now need a lot of help from Suzuki, because on the straight it is difficult to follow and stay with the faster guys -- and this is what is limiting us at the moment."
Team boss Paul Denning said Capirossi's ride had been remarkable, and agreed that the lack of straightline speed was becoming a critical issue.
"We have mixed emotions after a thrilling Mugello GP today," said Denning. "Loris rode like an animal and timed his pitstop to perfection, but what really allowed him to challenge the front group was the speed of his in and out laps - the commitment he made on the new slicks dragged him right up to the leaders.
"He managed to lead his home GP and right up until two laps from the end the podium was within his grasp. Ultimately though, the length of the Mugello straight, and the speed of our competitors, made it impossible to hold them off.
"I am convinced he got every last bit of performance out of the GSV-R today. Hopefully we can give him more from the package shortly so he can compete even more strongly."
Capirossi's teammate Chris Vermeulen also led early on, but fell off the pace when the track dried and dropped back to 10th.
"I waited for a lap or two to come in and change bikes and I think I did it at the just the right time, but then I struggled to get enough heat into the slick tires," he said. "I did as much as I could and got past a couple of guys right at the end and brought the bike home in 10th - obviously we were hoping for a bit better."
Denning added: "Chris made an amazing start and was very aggressive in fighting his way to the front, and also timed it right for his pitstop. Unfortunately he was unable to generate anything like the grip that Loris did on the slicks and that cost him in the earlier dry laps. Chris did well to keep the bike upright and score some decent points."