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Proton team KR set for last two-stroke outing in Jerez

Proton team KR set for last two-stroke outing in Jerez

Proton team KR set for last two-stroke outing in Jerez

Proton Team KR riders Jeremy McWilliams and Nobuatsu Aoki will line up for Sunday´s Spanish GP - first race of the European season and third on the season - for one more outing on the KR3 500cc two-stroke.

Non-stop development work on the all-new 990cc V5 four-stroke replacement has occurred in the two weeks since the South African GP but hopes of a racing debut at the Spanish round were put on hold after teething troubles delayed planned roll-out tests in Britain. After the weekend, the decision was taken to continue to campaign the two-stroke until the new bike has completed successful track tests.

´We´re getting our new bike done as quickly as we can - but we won´t put it on the track until it´s ready. It´s frustrating, but it´s kind of what we expected,´ said team owner Kenny Roberts.

While dynamometer engine development continues back at the Banbury base, and the first test ride imminent, team and riders can look forward to one last chance of harassing the 990cc four-strokes on their slower but lighter and nimbler 500cc machines and another chance to rewrite the two-stroke record books.

At the previous round in South Africa, Jeremy McWilliams again put another Proton fastest-ever two-stroke lap into the record books when he qualified in the thick of the four-stroke pack ... only to be knocked off as innocent victim of a start-line crash. He already holds the same distinction at other tracks, including Rio and Phillip Island. Nobuatsu Aoki also feels he can draw strength from one more two-stroke ride. At last year´s Spanish GP the Japanese star gave a brilliant demonstration of riding skill to finish seventh overall. Aoki beat all but two of the new 990cc four-strokes as he shoed how superlative handling can make up for a lack of outright top speed.

´Our first target was Jerez, but just because the thing is up and running only means you move on to the next problem,´ commented Chuck Aksland. ´This is a very complex new motorcycle and there are a lot of systems to test before we even know how much faster than the two-stroke it can be.´

MotoGP, 2003, Gran Premio Marlboro de España

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