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Proton Team KR: SECOND-ROW START FOR SICK-BUT-QUICK JURGEN

Proton Team KR: SECOND-ROW START FOR SICK-BUT-QUICK JURGEN

Jurgen van den Goorbergh: Fifth Position, 1:40.540

Proton Team KR rider Jurgen van den Goorbergh slashed more than 1.2-seconds off his previous best lap time in the final qualifying session for Sunday´s Portuguese GP, to challenge for yet another front-row starting position.

In the end, he missed it by less than a thousandth of a second, but was satisfied with his position heading the second row, after a weekend when he has not only had to shrug off the effects of his first crash of the racing season yesterday morning, but also to deal with a nagging stomach bug that has put him below par all weekend.

After yesterday´s crash, the team built up an almost completely new bike overnight, just in case there was any hidden damage to the crashed chassis and rear suspension.

Footnote: Proton team KR has been confirmed as one of the five seeded non-factory teams with a guaranteed entry from next year until 2006, the expiry of the current contract period.

JURGEN VAN DEN GOORBERGH

´I´m very happy with that lap time. I did it all alone, without slipstreaming anybody; a slipstream on the fast straight here would have won me three or four more tenths of a second, but I would have had to wait for a fast rider to get that advantage, and I´m not the sort of guy that likes to wait! The new bike the team built for me felt just like the old one from the start, which was really good. The Big Bang engine is running well, but it´s not perfect yet. The throttle connection when you first open up can still improve. The other problem I have is with myself: I have had a stomach infection for two or three days now, and it is affecting my concentration. I hope I am fully better for the race tomorrow´.

KENNY ROBERTS : Team Owner

´It looks good. I´d like to have seen a bit more, but I think the heat has a lot to do with it. Jurgen managed three straight laps at a fast time, which is promising for the consistency you need for the race. The rebuilt bike worked okay, but we had a little trouble with tyres. If we can get the choice right, we should have a good result´.

Tags:
500cc, 2001

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