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Proton Team KR: Proton in line for first front row start

Proton Team KR: Proton in line for first front row start

Jurgen van den Goorbergh - Fourth Position, 1:32.593

Proton Team KR rider Jurgen van den Goorbergh claimed a front row starting position for Sunday´s British GP with a stunning fourth-fastest time on the first day of practice at the twisting Donington Park circuit, only a short drive from the team´s Banbury headquarters.Although there is one day of qualifying remaining before the race, rain has been forecast, so that today´s times may set the pace. Even if not, rider and team are confident that today´s result was no flash in the pan. The lightweight Proton is tailor made for this type of circuit - where complex corner combinations put the emphasis on high corner speed and accurate handling.Conditions were overcast and muggy for today´s first practice day for the British GP, eight of 16 World Championship rounds. A light drizzle threatened but did not dampen the track, but the hour-long session was interrupted midway by a red flag after points leader Valentino Rossi crashed his Honda in spectacular style, leaving the track strewn with debris.


I had a small engine problem with one bike, so I stopped on the circuit and ran back to the pits. Luckily, my second bike was even better. I knew we could get a good time - this morning I was following Biaggi quite easily, and in the afternoon we improved the set-up a little more, and I was able to go quicker and quicker. The red flag came at a bad moment for me, just as I was finishing my fastest lap, which was discounted. I gave it another good shot at the end, and I was able to go faster again. There may even be a bit more lap time in the bike - but what is more important was we could do consistent fast times. I´m feeling quite happy now.


I´m very pleased with the progress Jurgen and the team have been making. We bought a different engine spec to try, and that was the one that gave trouble. But it wasn´t even really meant to run here, and it was no problem switching back to the other motor. We´re starting to get ahead of the programme.

500cc, 2001

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