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Suzuki riders foiled by traffic after strong session

Suzuki riders foiled by traffic after strong session

Team Telefonica MoviStar Suzuki riders Kenny Roberts Jr. and Sete Gibernau were among the pace setters in today´s first timed practice session at the revised Sachsenring circuit, but lost touch somewhat in the closing stages to end up sixth and ninth overall, on the second and third rows of the provisional starting grid.

Both riders were thwarted at the end of the session, with traffic spoiling their chances of an ultimate lap time as other riders pushed through ahead on a rapidly changing time sheet. The session saw six different names at the top of the list, some of them more than once, and including defending champion Roberts, with Gibernau also as high as fourth halfway through the hour-long session.

The Sachsenring circuit, famous for its series of seven left-hand bends leading onto the back straight, has been revised this year, with an extra 200 metres and the average speed higher by four kilometres an hour.

There is one more day of practice and one more timed session remaining before Sunday´s race, the ninth on this year´s 16-race championship trail.

KENNY ROBERTS - Sixth Position, 1:27.058

We´ve been running through some tyres this afternoon, trying to get a good race combination tied up - or at least to find a direction to go in. It seems we´re not able to keep consistent. After three or four laps, as the tyre loses some grip, we lose throttle connection. That´s been our problem for a long time. On my fast lap at the end I had to pass Haga, then I was a bit too anxious on the last corner and had to deal with a slide. It could have been a better time. But for me ´better´ is to improve the throttle connection when the tyres get hot, rather than a couple of bike lengths on one lap.

SETE GIBERNAU - Ninth Position, 1:27.427

We were looking good earlier in the session. I came in and made some changes, but in the last stages I found too much traffic. I could have improved my time otherwise. We´re doing not so bad here, but we´re not sure how many laps we can keep it up. We´re trying to work on a combination to improve that. Generally, we´re continuing to get better. I prefer the new track layout because I hated the last chicane, which has now gone. Also because I am using up my left knee sliders. We have a lot of spares, because usually you use the right one more. Edu (my assistant) is happy with that!

GARRY TAYLOR - Team Manager

It was good to see our two guys in front-row positions earlier, and I think they could have stayed there except for getting caught up at the end of the session. Once again, it´s very close and competitive out there. Both Kenny and Sete have ended up ahead of title points leader Rossi, and that proves the point. It´s good for morale as well.

500cc, 2001

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