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PROTON MEN SEARCH FOR MISSING SPEED

PROTON MEN SEARCH FOR MISSING SPEED

Jurgen van den Goorbergh: 16th Position, 1:36.682

Proton Team KR rider Jurgen van den Goorbergh set 16th-fastest time in today´s first timed session for Sunday´s GP of Valencia - a disappointment after a front-row and a second-row start in the previous two GPs. And the team were anticipating an intensive Friday night as they search for the missing speed that has spoiled his performance at a track where they had expected to do well.

The tortuous stadium-style Valencia circuit was expected to suit the lightweight three-cylinder KR3, which has shown a steady improvement all season long. Instead Jurgen found himself on the fourth row of the provisional starting grid. The possibility of rain tomorrow was an added worry, because it would mean no chance of improvement in starting position.

Times were close, however, and Jurgen was only 1.2 seconds off provisional pole time, set by points leader Valentino Rossi, with the first 12 riders all within one second. Today´s first practice was held in hot, sunny conditions.

JURGEN VAN DEN GOORBERGH

´I tried a lot of different things today - but we didn´t get anywhere. The only good thing is the consistency. The bike feels nice, and I think I´m riding quite well, but the lap times just aren´t coming. We have a slight problem with throttle pick-up´. The power comes in all of a sudden, and here you really need a good smooth drive out of the corners. It´s just not going as well as at Brno and Estoril. I hope it is dry tomorrow, so we can find those little details that will work towards a better lap time.

KENNY ROBERTS - Team Owner

´It´s very disappointing. This was one of the tracks where we thought we would go well. We need to have a good debrief and examine the data to try to find out why it´s not working the way we expected´.

Tags:
500cc, 2001

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