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Proton Team KR: LATE-NIGHT SESSION SLASHES JURGEN´S LAP TIME

Proton Team KR: LATE-NIGHT SESSION SLASHES JURGEN´S LAP TIME

Jurgen van den Goorbergh: Ninth Position, 1:35.433

Proton Team KR rider Jurgen van den Goorbergh slashed more than a second of his best lap time of yesterday to jump from 16th position into the top ten, missing a second-row start by less than half of a tenth of a second, and putting the three-cylinder lightweight KR3 ahead of eight factory four-cylinder bikes.

The huge improvement came after a late-night session and a raft of chassis and setting changes that transformed the bike´s ability on the very tight and twisting 4.005km stadium-style Ricardo Tormo circuit, venue for the 12th of 16 scheduled World Championship rounds.

Also transformed were the team´s and rider´s hopes of continuing a string of improved results over recent races. Yesterday´s 16th position had been an unpleasant surprise, at a track they had expected would suit the nimble lightweight Proton. Today´s improvement proves the confidence was justified after all.

Pole position went to Max Biaggi (Yamaha), at the end of a session cut short by a rain shower three minutes before the chequered flag.

JURGEN VAN DEN GOORBERGH

Everything is coming together, and I´m much happier. Since yesterday, we made a lot of changes to the chassis settings - the length, the height, the angles. It´s not what we usually do, but we didn´t have much previous information about this track. From this morning I knew it was better - but I had a slower engine in the better chassis. For the afternoon, we went a little further with those chassis changes with the other bike, and it was good. I was able to run 1:36 laps consistently, and I think the race could be quite interesting. The only thing we need to try to change tomorrow morning is to improve the bottom-end power so that I can slide the bike more easily. If it rains, I think I´ll still be happy - but I´d prefer a dry race.

KENNY ROBERTS - Team Owner

We had a good long debrief, and made a lot of progress. I wasn´t too happy with our base setting at Estoril, and if we´d have had the settings we put in today back then, we´d have done even better there. It´s down to getting Jurgen comfortable with a package he´s not accustomed to. We´re getting there.

Tags:
500cc, 2001

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