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Kenny Roberts fitter than ever and relishing the Brno challenge

Kenny Roberts fitter than ever and relishing the Brno challenge

Kenny Roberts fitter than ever and relishing the Brno challenge

Kenny Roberts returns to competitive action this weekend after a successful recovery from an arm operation in his native California and is looking forward to trying out the new developments on his four stroke Suzuki GSV-R at Brno. The former 500cc World Champion has struggled for the first half of the season with `arm-pump´, but surgery has cured the condition and a recuperation period which forced his absence from the German Grand Prix last month has ensured Roberts is ready to fire on all cylinders again.

`I am stronger now than I have ever been and I can do things on the training ranch that I could never do before,´ explained the American. `I am ready to give 100 per cent again. I am feeling better now than ever - gaining an extra week by missing the German GP really paid off. The surgery went great – I´ve been really lucky with having Dr Ting, and Dean Miller has really helped with the rehab. My wife Rochelle was a great support in the early days. Now I´ve been riding at the training ranch, on the dirt-track oval, and I´m able to do things with the bikes that I couldn't do before, and ride for longer without getting tired.´

$$$ Roberts admitted that the physical demands of the heavier four stroke caught him by surprise, but now feels confident that he has the extra strength to control the 990cc V4 bike. `Riding the 500, I was always able to control the arm-pump problem, but with the heavier four-stroke and the demands it makes on the rider it became very serious very quickly over the last few races,´ he explained. `Now I know I can over-ride my body consistently without problems, and I don´t anticipate any more trouble with my wrist.´

The army of Suzuki engineers employed on the factory Grand Prix project have continued working over the summer using data from the first half of the season, and Roberts is optimistic about his chances of starting a positive end to the machine´s debut season this weekend. `For the race, Brno should be one of our better tracks. Overall our situation will greatly depend on how Suzuki have been able to improve the machine. For my part, the arm had really been inhibiting my race performance. Now I know I can give 100 per cent for the full distance, and as long as I know I´ve done that, I´ll be satisfied.´


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