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Slowly but surely is the message from Proton Team KR

Slowly but surely is the message from Proton Team KR

Slowly but surely is the message from Proton Team KR

Proton Team KR Managing Director Chuck Aksland has revealed that development of their all-new V5 four-stroke machine is coming along slower than expected, but insists the prototype machine will be competitive from the start of the season despite the progress made by rival manufacturers over the winter period. The engine was completed and subjected to dyno testing at the end of last month, and Aksland says that they hope to have the bike on track for the first time by the end of February.

`We are working on the different components and starting to piece it all together,´ he explains. `In the past we have taken short cuts which haven´t helped us in the long term, so we are taking our time and making sure we do everything in the correct way. This means it is taking longer to get parts from the design stage to the manufacturing stage but we are making the most of the time while we have it. At the moment we are continuing to run the engine on the dyno, testing reliability and component wear, but hopefully by the end of the month we will have it married to a chassis and ready to roll down a track. We will probably start with a shakedown session somewhere local to the factory in Banbury, and then we have four tests planned for March, some IRTA and some private. Our goal is to make sure we are ready for the MotoGP test at Catalunya.´

$$$ Aksland admits that it has been difficult to ignore the lap times set by the series´ main players over the last couple of months, but claims the team remain focused on their own objectives. "Like everybody else I have been following the progress of the other factories over the internet and the general rumour mill and it sounds like some of the guys have been taking some major steps. It reminds me of last year, when you hear of a factory setting some great times and then Honda go two seconds quicker. It is probably a bit early for some of the other manufacturers but it seems Honda will definitely be the people to beat again. It is frustrating for us that we are still stuck in the factory, but I guess it is more so for our riders. From the engineering point of view we can only achieve what we can achieve and we are confident we are doing everything within our power. It would have been ideal to have a year of development like Ducati or Aprilia, but that was just not an option for us. In any case we are not worried. At the end of the day, if we have done our homework right then we should come out with something competitive from the start.

"It will be a year like no other, but it is impossible to truly predict what will happen until that green flag drops at Suzuka," concluded the American.

MotoGP, 2003

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