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Proton Team KR: BITTER GALL AS CHATTER PROBLEMS SPOIL PROTON´S BIG DAY
Jurgen van den Goorbergh : Did Not Finish
Proton Team KR rider Jurgen van den Goorbergh retired from today´s Czech Republic GP at the Brno circuit, bitterly disappointed after his first front-row start of the season turned to dust with a rare chatter problem that meant he dropped from fifth on the first lap to 12th on the second, quite unable to exploit the potential shown throughout practice by the latest version of the three-cylinder lightweight KR3.
He had dropped to 16th, out of the points, on the seventh of 22 laps, and pulled into the pits next time round.
Jurgen was racing with the new Big Bang version of the V3, which had proved a major improvement, and allowed him to challenge for pole position. He was confident of a strong race, and ready to make the most of his chances. Instead, serious front-wheel chatter struck from the very first corner, and though he tried to overcome the problem, there was no solution.
Both team and rider were bitterly disappointed at the consequences of a problem that seemed quite out of their control, after a summer break in which intensive work had seen the machine closer than ever to full competitive potential.
JURGEN VAN DEN GOORBERGH
I had some problem with the front end, it felt to me like a tyre problem, that struck from the first corner. It´s only happened to me two or three times before in my racing career, and it had to happen again today, when I was on the front row of the grid and sure I could achieve my best result so far. From the first corner, the front was bouncing around. I tried different corner lines and techniques, but nothing made any difference. The front wheel was coming right off the ground as I pitched it in. Corner entry is the strongest point of my riding technique and one of the bike´s best points ... and I couldn´t use it at all. There was no way I could hold the front, and I was just going backwards. There was a big chance it might cause me to crash, and very little chance of finishing even in the points, so I decided to retire. It´s so disappointing.
CHUCK AKSLAND : Team Manager
Jurgen got an excellent start and had a good first half-lap, but we can see from the telemetry that the chatter started from the first corner. The front end was bouncing so bad that the bike was simply not fit to race. We´re working now to try to find out if it was a tyre or a suspension problem. This week the team was really prepared. They all did a lot of work and we deserved a good result. Then something that seems out of our control meant we couldn´t even finish. That´s the way it goes sometimes in racing.
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