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Proton Team KR

Proton Team KR

Round 16: Rio GP, Jacarepagua First Qualifying: Thursday, November 1, 2001

Jurgen van den Goorbergh: 10th Position, 153.293

Proton Team KR rider Jurgen van den Goorbergh moved up from 17th in morning free training to tenth in the afternoon´s first qualifying session - playing himself in slowly after suffering concussion less than two weeks ago in practice for the previous round, the Malaysian GP.

The Dutchman was ruled out of that race as a result, the first he has missed since 1993, and in the intervening fortnight has been recuperating at home in Monaco. Until a few days ago, he was unsure whether he would be able to race in Rio or not. He was given medical clearance, however, and his own tentative training sessions convinced him he was free from dizzyiness, and could take part.

This is the last GP of the year, and the last ever in the 500cc class, which next year is open also to 990cc four-strokes. Today´s practice was run in dry, warm conditions.


I´m not feeling 100 percent yet. I´m not suffering from double vision or anything like that, but I´m finding it harder than usual to concentrate, and that´s costing me a lot of effort. This morning I took it slow, and built up speed this afternoon. It went better than I expected, with consistent times in the 1:53s. The bike seems to be working pretty well. The important thing for me is to take part in the race here on Saturday, and get a good result in my last race with this team.

CHUCK AKSLAND - Team Manager

Jurgen´s concentration level is improving, which is encouraging, and he feels confident about racing. Evereday, he gets a bit better. The bike is the same as at the previous rounds, and it looks as though it is working well here. Today we´ve been experimenting with different tyres - 16.5-inch and 17-inch - going back and forth a bit. Tomorrow we´ll make a final assessment.

500cc, 2001

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