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Proton Team KR Press Release

Proton Team KR Press Release

Catalunyan GP - Round Six : Friday, June 15, 2001

Jurgen van den Goorbergh - Sixth Position, 1:46.525

Proton Team KR rider Jurgen van den Goorbergh had his best yet first qualifying session in his first season on the Proton KR3, putting the three-cylinder lightweight in the thick of the leaders of the pack and securing a provisional second-row start for Sunday´s sixth round of the 2001 season.The strong qualifying result came at a favourite track for both rider and machine, and followed successful tests at Assen in the break after the Italian GP two weeks ago. Van den Goorbergh scored one of his two pole positions in the class here two years ago, and last year the KR3 was eighth in the wet race, the Mk3 version´s best ever result.The tests at Assen gave the team a chance to clear up a couple of niggling problems at the last couple of races. More importantly, tests before that Italian round established much improved base settings for the machine, so that the first of two days of qualifying no longer needs to be spent dialling the machine in to the same extent as before.The first day of qualifying for Sunday´s race took place in warm, sunny conditions, but there is a chance of rain tomorrow, which will enshrine today´s qualifying times as the final grid order.


For the first day, that was very satisfying. We found a set-up in the tests after the French GP that seem to work at every other track., including this one. The engine is running well, and I have no trouble slip-streaming the four-cylinders on the long straight - though I set my lap time today on my own. The bike is steering well also. The only problem today was with tyres - they seem to go off after only a couple of laps. I think everyone has the same complaint. In our Assen tests we found a better clutch, to solve start-line problems I´d been having, and also sorted out the fuel problem, where the bike did not run well with a full tank. That means I should be able to get off the line well, and make the most of a good qualifying position.

CHUCK AKSLAND - Team Manager

We needed to pin down a couple of little problems, and our tests were successful - and this is the best first day of practice we´ve had all year. This is a good track for our bike and also one of Jurgen´s favourites. I believe that he has already shown something closer to our bike´s true potential today, and we´re hoping the rest of the weekend continues in the same way for us.

500cc, 2001

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