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Proton Team KR to dust off the two-strokes

Proton Team KR to dust off the two-strokes

Proton Team KR to dust off the two-strokes

Proton Team KR have admitted that they are close to defeat in their race to get their new V5 four-stroke prototype ready in time for the MotoGP Winter Test at Catalunya on the 15-16 March. Team Manager Chuck Aksland confirmed that riders Jeremy McWilliams and Nobuatsu Aoki will be back on their old 500cc two-stroke machines for a private test at the Barcelona venue just days before the IRTA session, but that the team still hoped the 990cc machine could be ready in time for the most important date on the preseason calendar.

`Our goal is still the MotoGP Winter Test, but whether we achieve it or not depends on what happens this week,´ said Aksland. `If we don´t make it in time we will do the test with the two-strokes, because our riders have been away for four months and they need as much track time as possible before the season starts. It would be very risky to just put the bike together and take it out on a circuit like Catalunya, so we would like to run a shakedown test somewhere else to run through the systems first and make sure it is safe.

$$$ Aksland revealed that the bike has been loosely assembled at the factory, but modifications to various pieces have caused a delay in the construction of the definitive article. `We have put several different versions together but then decided to redesign certain pieces, like the seat unit and the airbox. We have the wiring harness laid out with the chassis, suspension and water system all in there, but we have not had the engine actually running in the chassis yet. Hopefully we can do that this weekend.´

The American also added that the bike looks smaller than the team had imagined, and both McWilliams and Aoki were surprised by its compact size. `Going from a 3 cylinder 500cc two-stroke to a V5 990cc four-stroke, you expect it to seem really big in your head, but in reality it looks real small and the riding position is no different to the triple. I think the riders thought that they would be slinging their leg over a monster, but they were both surprised. The chassis is obviously wider and when the whole bodywork is on it will be bigger, but it is still a very compact machine, which can only by good for the riders.´

MotoGP, 2003

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