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Proton Team KR

Proton Team KR

Proton Team KR rider Jurgen van den Goorbergh will start tomorrow´s Catalan GP from sixth position, the Dutch rider´s second successive second row start in his first season on the three-cylinder lightweight machine.

Earlier in the final session Jurgen - a former pole qualifier here - was up to second position. That gave the other riders a target, however, and by the end he had dropped to sixth. Even so, with former clutch problems now solved and a good getaway on the cards, the team is expecting their best race so far this year.

The good qualifying results at Mugello two weeks ago (seventh) and here at Catalunya follow successful test sessions before and after the Italian round, when the team solved niggling problems that had caused trouble at earlier rounds.

JURGEN VAN DEN GOORBERGH:

I´ve had no big problems all weekend. In the final session there was a little gearbox difficulty, that was the result of the heat. The power was still strong though, but tomorrow I´ll have to be careful about slipstreaming if it is warm again, because that makes the temperature climb, and eventually you lose power. The bike was already good yesterday, and today it improved again. We´ve found a good race tyre, though front tyres are a problem here, and I´d expect to see people having trouble and even falling with front-end slides at the end of the race. I did my fast time alone - without a slipstream we lose three or four tenths, so if I´d been following somebody I might have been on the front row. As it was, I did the time too early in the session. That gave the other riders a target to shoot for. If I´d waited until the end, I might have slipped the time in without anybody having the chance to fight back.

KENNY ROBERTS - Team Owner

It´s getting better, after a couple of rocky races. I think we´re now where we thought we´d be at the beginning of the season. So far it´s been a really good weekend. We´re not just dealing with reliability and handling problems. We´re attacking lap times. We´re getting back to racing again.

Tags:
500cc, 2001

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