Loris Capirossi believes he could have reached row two of the San Marino Grand Prix grid had he not been balked in qualifying.
The Italian instead ended up a frustrated 11th – a huge disappointment on what had looked set to be Suzuki's best weekend in several months. The struggling team has only achieved one top-five start and one top-five finish so far this season, but Capirossi had been in the lower part of the top 10 throughout practice at Misano and was optimistic that he was on the cusp of a breakthrough.
"Today has been a good day, but again the position is not what we want or deserve," said Capirossi. "On my best lap, I caught up with a group of three or four riders in the last section and I lost three or four tenths of a second. If that hadn't have happened I think I could easily have been on the second row."
Despite his qualifying frustration, Capirossi is still upbeat about his race chances and hopes he can show the Suzuki's real potential tomorrow.
"I am really positive for tomorrow's race because the bike is working very well here at Misano," he said. "I need to make a good start and do my best because the setting of the bike is good. We are still losing a bit on the exit of the corners and we need to do something about that – as it makes it difficult to overtake. Our potential is much more than this qualifying position and we will be trying as hard as we can tomorrow to prove it."
Capirossi has been linked with a move from Suzuki to Pramac Ducati at the end of the season, with LCR Honda rider Randy de Puniet tipped to fill his ride at Suzuki.