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Proton team KR : Kurtis picks up pace, Jurgen crashes out

Proton team KR : Kurtis picks up pace, Jurgen crashes out

Jurgen van den Goorbergh: 15th Position, 2:08.547

Kurtis Roberts: 18th Position, 2:09.221

Proton Team KR rider Jurgen van den Goorbergh is a doubtful starter for tomorrow´s Malaysian GP, after suffering concussion in a heavy crash early in the final qualifying session. Although not otherwise injured, the Dutch rider was taken to hospital in Kuala Lumpur for observation, and the results of the medical examination will determine whether he will be fit to take part in tomorrow´s race.

One-race team-mate Kurtis Roberts reversed his fortunes after crashing out of yesterday´s first timed session. Today he improved steadily as he gained familiarity with a track he has never seen before, and a motorcycle he has never ridden before. By the end of this afternoon´s final timed session he had slashed four seconds of his best time of yesterday, and was beginning to get on terms with motorcycle racing´s premier class, and to start thinking about ways to adapt the motorcycle to suit his riding style.

The Malaysian GP - 15th of 16 World Championship rounds this season - is a second home race for the Proton KR3. The team and the factory are based in England, but the Malaysian connection goes beyond just sponsorship, with the Malaysian car company´s engineers and engineering facilities an important part of the joint effort.

KURTIS ROBERTS

´I´ve never seen this track before yesterday, so it was good to have a full dry session without any trouble. We haven´t even scratched the surface yet. This bike has been developed around Jurgen, and my riding style is quite a bit different, from my experience riding Superbikes, especially in the way I load the front. We´ve got some changes to make tomorrow, and if I can get the bike to do what I want it to do, I believe I can get into the 2:08 bracket, and maybe even a bit quicker. Then I hope I can get among some of the four-cylinders, and have some fun in my first 500-class GP´.

CHUCK AKSLAND - Team Manager

´Jurgen suffered some concussion, and he is under observation. We´ll have to see how he responds tonight, and decide about racing tomorrow. Kurtis is picking up the pace. He´s only had one hour-long dry session, and already he´s just 3.5-seconds off pole time, and less than three tenths of Cardoso´s factory V4 Yamaha. We´re also starting to understand his riding style, and his braking technique, and we´ll make some improvements to the bike overnight to suit that. Considering he´s never seen the place before, he´s going good´.

Tags:
500cc, 2001

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