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Top ten Suzuki men feel need for speed

Top ten Suzuki men feel need for speed

Jerez de la Frontera - Sunday, May 6, 2001: Team Telefonica MoviStar Suzuki riders Kenny Roberts Junior and Sete Gibernau both claimed top ten positions in today´s Spanish GP, third round of the World Championship. But both were frustrated by a relative lack of engine power that kept them from making the most of the good machine set-up and handling achieved for this race.

Roberts, who finished seventh, started from the second row of the grid, and held fifth place for the first 12 of 27 laps of the 4.423km circuit, outside the sherry capital of Andalucia. Only two riders passed him, and though he wasn´t able to fight back, Roberts maintained consistent lap times to finish well clear of the next rider.

Gibernau was handicapped by a fourth-row start, in a very close grid. The Spanish rider was 14th at the end of the first lap, but picked through to the top ten by the tenth lap. Now he was in a group of top factory riders, and he held his position to the finish, disappointed not to be able to achieve a better result after a strong ride.

A huge crowd of 126,000 Spanish fans watched the race, held in mild but overcast conditions. It was won by Italian rider Valentino Rossi, his third victory of the season.

KENNY ROBERTS - Seventh Position
It´s just so disappointing. We´re getting trampled all over right now. I know I can ride with all of the guys in front of me, but we have a severe engine deficit. We have too much engine braking, and an acceleration problem. It´s something that we´ve had for a couple of years now, but we´re not able to hide it any more. There´s really nothing else I can say.

SETE GIBERNAU - Tenth Position
My concentration was perfect, and I made no mistakes. I think I rode a good race. The team had the bike set up really good - I was consistent throughout and I was still able to run fast laps at the end. The problem is the bike doesn´t have the power to overtake. When I am at the limit, on the perfect line, and the other riders are all over the place, they still get away from me. Starting from row four is also bad. I got off the line really well, and if I´d been on the second row I would have been with the leaders. From the fourth row, there were just too many people ahead, and I even had to close the throttle. We´re handicapped by our situation. I want to thank Stuart Shenton and the guys in the team - but we´re making each other look bad at the moment. I´m 100 percent sure our day will come. We´re doing everything right, and if we get the package we need, we will be strong.

GARRY TAYLOR - Team Manager
Both riders did everything they could today. The lap times were really consistent, but they need some extra help. We are staying on to test here for the next two days, with a view to achieving more in the coming races. It´s been disappointing, but we haven´t given up by any means, and there´s a long season still ahead.

500cc, 2001

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