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Kurtis escapes Italian barbeque

Kurtis escapes Italian barbeque

Kurtis escapes Italian barbeque

Kurtis Roberts had a lucky escape this afternoon when his Proton KR V5 burst into flames after a crash just eight minutes from the end of the final qualifying session for the Gran Premio Cinzano d'Italia.

The MotoGP rookie, who dislocated his shoulder in a similar accident during preseason tests at Valencia, was battered and bruised after the incident which caused a fifteen minute red flag as the burnt air fence was replaced, but will be fit to ride in tomorrow's race.

"I hit that air-fence so hard pretty much all my insides have been adjusted, and I've twisted my ankle … but I should be okay," explained Roberts. "I also burned my face a little, when some of the flames got into my helmet.

"Where I crashed, there's a little bump on the entry, that made me push the front a few times. This time I had a soft-compound tyre, and with the extra lean angle that was enough to flick me straight off, and then the gravel-trap launched me into the fence. It would have been my best lap by far if not for that."

Kurtis' father and Proton Team KR owner Kenny Roberts watched anxiously as his son rose gingerly to his feet, and explained that the ‘fireball' effect will not happen again in the future. "Our gas tank is very light, and it seems it doesn't stand up to heavy abuse. We have fuel bladders ordered and coming for the next race, which would have prevented this happening," said Roberts.

"That apart, the day went pretty well, and we're faster than I expected. Over the next weeks we'll get more engines built to our current spec, with increased performance at the end of July for the British GP, or thereabouts."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2004, GRAN PREMIO CINZANO D'ITALIA

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