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Contrasting fortunes for the Roberts brothers

Contrasting fortunes for the Roberts brothers

Contrasting fortunes for the Roberts brothers

The second day of qualifying at the Jerez circuit in Spain presented different challenges and fortunes for the Roberts brothers, Kenny and Kurtis, who ended up at opposite ends of the timing sheets after intermittent rain and sunshine made riding conditions tough on bikes and riders. Kenny made his experience of the Jerez circuit, including a victory in the 2000 season, count as he stormed to the best time of the afternoon on the Bridgestone-shod Suzuki, whilst Kurtis was left to curse his luck after being denied the opportunity to rack up valuable laps on his Proton KR V5 machine and the Dunlop tyres.

"Basically we're starting in a decent spot considering some of the fundamental problems we're having," commented Kenny, who was disappointed to have to settle for his provisional tenth place on the grid after his performance today. "We need it either wet or dry, obviously, and tomorrow's forecast is for rain. Hopefully it will do one or the other.

"Today was kind of a wasted day - just going round in circles waiting for the conditions either to improve or worsen so we could achieve something. But it was just one of those days. We couldn't anticipate what we needed to do, just react off what the bike felt like.

"The grid positions were set already. I don't believe in our current situation that rain will favour us, because of our engine braking and some other things.

"Sometimes you can ride around problems easier in the rain, or other people make mistakes more easily - which could help our position - but from a competitive standpoint, it shouldn't make much difference."

"I wish this GP curse of mine would go away," commented Kurtis, who was nineteenth fastest today and starts from the back of the grid tomorrow. "I've done barely 50 laps on the new bike all year, and today the weather and some bike teething problems meant I only managed 12 laps in the morning and 13 in the afternoon.

"I only got out after 15 minutes this afternoon, then I had to pull in and switch to my other bike. Still I made some progress with myself and the bike in the last few laps… mainly in confidence and feel. I'm trying to get back to the feeling I had in my first test in Valencia last year, but I have to build up to it, and it takes time.

"Some good weather would be nice, and I'm looking forward to testing on Monday. But today was a bit of a turnaround, and in the afternoon I was doing the same or slightly better times than Nobu, which is good.

"I can't say enough for how hard the team is working, and I didn't wear out three dirt-bike tyres last week for nothing. It'll pay off eventually".

Tags:
MotoGP, 2004, GRAN PREMIO MARLBORO DE ESPAÑA, Kurtis Roberts

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