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Kurtis ready to sign for Proton Team KR

Kurtis ready to sign for Proton Team KR

Kurtis ready to sign for Proton Team KR

Kurtis Roberts has revealed that he his close to signing a deal with his father's Proton Team KR to ride in the MotoGP World Championship. Although no official announcement has yet been made by the team, the youngest sibling of the famous Roberts family has been filling in for the recently departed Jeremy McWilliams at Valencia testing this week and admitted he is hopeful a permanent arrangement to ride in MotoGP can be reached soon.

"Really, this is what I've always wanted to do – it's something I've been talking about for years with my father," said Kurtis, who made a brief appearance in the series at Sepang two years ago – when he crashed during qualifying and injured himself for the race. "MotoGP is the place to be, it's the only series that matters nowadays - nothing compares to it. Having tested the bike for two days I think it has a lot of potential but there is still a lot of work ahead. From a personal point of view I've been lapping around the same times as Nobu (Aoki) so I have to be happy with that."

Roberts has gathered vast experience in the AMA Supersport and Superbike series' but says the 990cc V5 prototype is unlike any machine he has ever ridden. "I've ridden a lot of production bikes and of course the 500cc KR3, and yeah, this bike isn't like any of those. I guess it is most like a Supersport because of the small, compact size of it but obviously the engine reacts much quicker and accelerates a lot harder. The times are not there to prove that yet but there is a lot more to come – there are lots of engineers working on the 2004 version of the bike at the factory in Banbury and I'm sure it will be a big improvement."

Whilst the MotoGP World Championship represents a new and difficult test for Roberts, but after seeing his father and brother both conquer the series he is more than ready for the challenge. "I have wanted to come to Europe for a long time and make my name in the World Championship," he says. "I am looking forward to the whole scene – the fans, the tracks, the lifestyle… just everything."

MotoGP, 2003

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