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Team Telefonica Movistar Suzuki: Roberts and Gibernau side by side in England

Team Telefonica Movistar Suzuki: Roberts and Gibernau side by side in England

Friday, July 6, 2001 - Donington Park, Great Britain: Team Telefonica MoviStar Suzuki riders Kenny Roberts and Sete Gibernau set fifth and sixth fastest times in today´s first timed qualifying session for Sunday´s British GP, to claim side-by-side starting positions on the second row of the provisional starting grid.

Roberts had led the hour-long session for almost the first 30 minutes - but while experimenting with different settings for the rest of the session was unable to improve. By the end, four riders had gone faster, moving him off the provisional front row.

Gibernau´s time came late in the interrupted hour-long session, after steady progress over the past few races, demonstrating how the Spanish ace has polished his relationship with the Suzuki in his first season on last year´s championship-winning machine. Today´s lap time was a personal best at the track for Sete, a massive seven tenths of a second quicker than his best time of last year.

The first practice day for the British GP, eighth race of the 16-round GP season, took place in humid, overcast conditions, with a light drizzle threatening the session midway through, and a red-flag interruption as marshals cleared debris off the track, left after a spectacular crash by this year´s points leader Valentino Rossi. One more hour-long session remains tomorrow, but with more rain forecast it is possible that today´s times will set the final starting positions for Sunday´s race.

KENNY ROBERTS - Fifth position, 1:32.866

I had a problem with both bikes this morning, which forced us to stop early, and cost us valuable set-up time. I don´t thing it would have made any difference to our position. I´m concentrating on finding settings to get the bike up front in the race - but we don´t seem able to find that right now.

SETE GIBERNAU - Sixth position, 1:32.988

Over the last two or three races, we´ve really been getting dialled in to the package, every time a little more. I think we´re pretty close to the other guys now - but we still have to work very hard to do it, and we´re still not capable of pushing them. At least we´re going forward, even if we´re not where we want to be. Today we solved some chatter problems. I still hope to make the bike a little better tomorrow. Once again it is very important for me to thank my great crew. It´s nice to see how we all work together when things are difficult. And if it rains tomorrow, at least we are on the second row.

GARRY TAYLOR - Team Manager

It´s always hard work in sessions when it tries to rain, but can´t make up its mind. Sete had a very good session, with a best-ever time after improving all the way. It was also good to see Kenny leading the field for the first half of the session.

500cc, 2001

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