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Proton Team KR: Jurgen goes softly, softly after first crash

Proton Team KR: Jurgen goes softly, softly after first crash

Jurgen van den Goorbergh: 11th Position, 1:41.753

Team Proton KR rider Jurgen van den Goorbergh came back from a fall early in today´s first timed session for Sunday´s Portuguese GP - his first crash of the season - to claim a position on the third row of the provisional starting grid. But the Dutch rider admitted he had been cautious after the tumble, and promised a more competitive performance for tomorrow.

The twisting Estoril circuit is a favourite for Van den Goorbergh, who qualified on the front row of the grid last year, and for the lightweight three-cylinder Proton KR3, which was among the fastest machines at pre-season testing.

Provisional pole position went to points leader Valentino Rossi, with the first 15 riders all inside the lap record, in hot, sunny conditions.


I crashed early in the session - the first time I´ve fallen since the start of the season - and did a lot of damage to my better bike, which was a pity. Luckily, I wasn´t hurt. I fell because I had a very hard front tyre, which hadn´t got up to temperature even after three or four laps - it let go before I was even in the corner, while I was still braking. After that, I needed to get my feeling back, and regain confidence. I´m not happy with my position, but I´m confident that there is more to come from my riding and the machine - I haven´t even tried drafting anyone down the straight yet. With my best bike damaged and my confidence also, we need to be a little patient.


Jurgen found the kitty litter with his good bike, and on the other bike we ended up a disappointing 11th. There´s always one bike that feels better than the other - but the bike he crashed was damaged badly enough that we don´t want to take any chances with it. We´ll take it back to the factory to check it over, and he will have a completely new motorcycle tomorrow morning. We felt we should be better here, but I guess we´re saving our best for last.

500cc, 2001

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