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Proton KR

Proton KR

Proton Team KR rider Jurgen van den Goorbergh was fighting power delivery problems in today´s first qualifying session for Sunday´s Pacific GP, and ended up with a provisional fourth-row starting position, with one day of practice remaining.

The Dutch rider was fighting the bike out of the track´s several very slow corners, while cool and damp weather conditions may have contributed to carburettor setting difficulties. As a result, the power was coming in too suddenly, spoiling the all-important ´throttle connection´.

Van den Goorbergh was using a new version of the lightweight three-cylinder motor, with magnesium rather than aluminium cases, saving 2.5kg. A near disaster in the morning came when the new motor ingested a small spring through the air intakes. It went into the crankcases and was further fragmented, but while a piece of metal did serious damage to piston, cylinder and cylinder head, the new cases were luckily not damaged.


´You can definitely feel the difference with the lighter motor that I have in one bike, and we need to adjust the chassis settings to suit the different weight. The new engine seems to run more freely, but it has the same power characteristics. Today has been difficult. I am having trouble getting speed out of the short corners. We don´t have the right bottom power - there is too little, then it comes in quite harshly, so the bike wheelies and the back tyre spins in a way that´s hard for me to control. I was expecting some problems because our bike is not built for this sort of circuit - it´s much better on faster, flowing corners. But if we can make some improvements overnight or if it rains, we should be able to improve our position´. TOM O´KANE - Development Engineer

´We´ve been having big problems getting the power delivery smoother and more linear - working on carburettor needles. It may be the weather or the fact that we´re up in the hills that is making it more difficult than usual. We are using the new engine here with magnesium casings, which seems to be working well. It was lucky that it wasn´t damaged this morning when a spring somehow found its way through the airbox and into the crankcase´.

500cc, 2001

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