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Team Telefonica MoviStar Suzuki

Team Telefonica MoviStar Suzuki

Team Telefonica MoviStar Suzuki rider Kenny Roberts was sixth in today´s Dutch TT, after the race was abruptly shortened after 15 of 20 laps, when rain started to fall.

Team-mate Sete Gibernau was right behind in seventh, with the two blue machines attaining those positions from opposite directions.

Roberts had started fast from the second row of the grid, and for the first half of the race was one of the leading group of five riders. As the race wore on he lost touch, and lost another place towards the finish as he fought against fading grip levels.

Gibernau also started well from the next row, but on the first lap was almost put off the track by another rider´s error. He recovered near the back of the field, and spent the rest of the race steadily gaining positions, cutting through a tight pack of factory riders, so that he was less than four seconds behind Roberts at the finish.

The race, in front of a crowd of 92,000 fans thronging the banks lining the 6.049km circuit, started in dry conditions, after both earlier support events, the 125 and 250 races, had been wet. It was red flagged very promptly at the first sign of a return of the rain, on the 16th lap, with results taken from the 15th. Since more than two-thirds distance had been completed, there was no need for a restart.

The race was won by Italian rider Max Biaggi - his second win of the season.

KENNY ROBERTS - Sixth Position

´That is our level, and there´s nothing we can do about it. I could ride with the leaders, but as soon as the tyre grip goes down and throttle response becomes more crucial, our lap times slow down.´

SETE GIBERNAU - Seventh Position

´I got a good start, but I have to thank Ukawa for throwing me off the race-track on the first lap. After that I had to come back from 16th, right at the back. I had to catch all the way up, then pass a lot of people. We had to change the chassis for the race from practice, and it didn´t feel the same. It was sliding more, and the bike was working differently. It could have been a better race for me.´

GARRY TAYLOR - Team Manager

Sete had another really strong ride, coming through from 16th, and riding through some strong opposition to get so close to the leaders. The rain came a bit late for us: a wet race would have been better. Now we have to concentrate on the next one, next weekend in England.´

FOOTNOTE: SUZUKI´S ASSEN RECORD STANDS FOR EVER!

With the Classic Dutch TT circuit due to be changed at the end of this year, Suzuki rider Kevin Schwantz´s race lap record for the track will stand in perpetuity.

Already the oldest record on the books, Schwantz´s 1991 time has been beaten in practice, but never in a race - when records must be set.

This year again a cool track meant that the 500 racers did not match their qualifying times, and the fastest lap set by second-placed Valentino Rossi - was two tenths slower than Schwantz´s time: 2:02.662 versus the Texan World Champion´s 2:02.443.

Tags:
500cc, 2001

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