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Proton Team KR confirm V5 decision

Proton Team KR confirm V5 decision

Proton Team KR confirm V5 decision

For the past few weeks strong rumours had circulated around the MotoGP paddock that Proton Team KR would next year be running a new V5 four-stroke machine. This weekend team owner Kenny Roberts, who has strongly hinted that this would be the case, has spoken officially about his new project, moving to quash suggestions that it was is in any way a copy of the all-conquering Honda RC211V.

`We looked at the regulations, considered the possibilities and like Honda we decided that five cylinders was the best option´ said Roberts, himself a former three-times World Champion. `Four and five cylinder engines have the same minimum weight limit of 145kg. Given that, why would you want to make a four? Once that decision had been made, the engine architecture was just obvious.´.

The new four-stroke Proton KR is similar to the Honda in that it incorporates a V configuration with three cylinders forward and two behind, although at 75.5 degrees the Honda V is at a much wider angle. `Ours is a 60-degree V,´ explained Roberts. `We settled on that angle after computer simulations and discussions with our engineers. We believe that it makes a better envelope. Once you´ve decided on five cylinders, the configuration settles itself. In F1 racing they all use V10 engines, but nobody accuses them of copying each other´. Roberts added that they were aiming away from too much experimental work to rely on proven technology. `We´re not trying to re-invent the wheel, as we did with our two-stroke. It´s the last thing I want. We´re a small, independent engineering company, and we´re not in a position to spend three years on research and development. That´s why we are not looking at F1 technology, like pneumatic valves. We want to make something that can run decent from the start.´

MotoGP, 2002

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