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Team Telefonica MoviStar Suzuki : Roberts on provisional front row at Assen

Team Telefonica MoviStar Suzuki : Roberts on provisional front row at Assen

Thursday, June 28, 2001 - Assen, Netherlands: Team Telefonica MoviStar Suzuki rider Kenny Roberts was fourth-fastest in today´s first qualifying session for Saturday´s Dutch TT, claiming a place on the provisional front row at a track where unpredictable weather means that any dry practice day might be the last.

Team-mate Sete Gibernau was 12th, in his first time at the fastest, longest and hardest track of the season riding a Suzuki - but the Spanish hero of the previous round in Catalunya was optimistic that his progress up the learning curve had been better than his position might suggest.

This race, the seventh round of the 16-race season, follows successful tests for Kenny Roberts at the Catalunyan GP circuit the day after the last race.

The first practice day for the last running of the Dutch TT at the circuit in its present form took place in fine conditions, with last year´s pole qualifier Loris Capirossi fastest so far. Another day of practice tomorrow is followed by the race, the only one of the season to take place on a Saturday.

KENNY ROBERTS - Fourth position, 2:02.349

Today we´ve been going through the normal things - I had a problem with one bike this morning that cost us time, because I was limited to just one machine. This afternoon both bikes were fine, so it was easier for us to try some things for the race. We´ve run through a lot of tyre combinations - we´re playing round quite a bit, and hoping to find a good combination for tomorrow. I tried the new 16.5 rear and some others. There´s nothing spectacular - just trying to get the bike to turn more easily.

SETE GIBERNAU - 12th position, 2:03.589

This is a very different race-track, and my first day here on the Suzuki has not been easy. We´re just trying to find settings that will suit me, and here if you are a little bit off the gas it means a lot of time, so it is easy to be a long way from the fast guys. So it wasn´t bad for day one - we´re getting the bike right for me. Today we tried to find the way, tomorrow we should be able to put it all together and go for some good lap times.

WARREN WILLING - Technical Adviser

We started with the test settings we found at Barcelona, but the bike felt a bit lazy, because the mid-corner attitude is different here - you´re loading the suspension faster because of the effective banking on the corners. Between the sessions we adjusted the suspension balance to get the mid-corner attitude the way it should be. When we got that right, we could look at the other questions. We know for sure that with a 17-inch rear we could get a better lap time, but we expect to persist with the 16.5 tyre for the moment.

500cc, 2001

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