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Proton Team KR

Proton Team KR

Jurgen van den Goorbergh: Did Not Finish

Proton Team KR rider Jurgen van den Goorbergh retired from today´s Rio GP, last race of the 2001 GP season, after rare mechanical trouble struck on the first lap of a race that was stopped three laps later when it started to rain. Because he was not running at the time, Jurgen was not eligible for the restart, leaving the Dutchman angry and disappointed after a weekend that had promised a lot for his last race with the team.

Jurgen had qualified well, on the third row of the grid, and was fastest in race-morning warm-up. But his troubles started directly the lights went green, with gearshifting difficulties. Even so, he finished the first lap in 12th. But the problem rapidly got worse, and he was forced to stop out on the track without finishing the second lap.

It was particularly disappointing because it had been something of a struggle to make the race. Ruled out of the previous round after suffering concussion in a practice tumble, he was still suffering a week before the Rio GP, and not sure whether he would be fit enough to start. He was given medical clearance just in time to fly to Brazil, but even during practice was having trouble concentrating. Day by day he got better, however, and by race day he was feeling fit, and confident of finishing the season with a good result.

The race, watched by a 40,000-strong crowd, was won by new 500cc World Champion Valentino Rossi. The four-plus-20 laps of the 4.933km Nelson Piquet circuit were the last ever race in the classic 500cc class. From next year, the premier category will be open also to 990cc four-strokes.

JURGEN VAN DEN GOORBERGH

´You could say that was disappointing. Or even more than disappointing. I came here to race, and I believe I did a good job to make it through to race day. This morning I was fastest, which shows I was capable of a good result. Then in the race something broke. It´s a shame to finish the season this way - the bike has been quite reliable all year. Until this important day´.

KENNY ROBERTS - Team Owner

´The bike ran all weekend with no problems. Then we got to the race, and it had a problem These things always seem to come at the wrong time - but that´s the way it goes sometimes´.

Tags:
500cc, 2001

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