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Kurtis Roberts to sit out Estoril action

Kurtis Roberts to sit out Estoril action

Kurtis Roberts to sit out Estoril action

Kurtis Roberts will miss out on a busy weekend for Proton Team KR after taking a late decision to stay in the USA and concentrate on making a full recovery from left elbow and wrist fractures sustained in a wet-weather qualifying crash at Brno.

Roberts therefore sits out the Grande Premio Marlboro de Portugal and the subsequent test session at the Estoril circuit, in which the team plan to test the KTM V4 engine.

Nobuatsu Aoki will ride the hybrid Proton KR chassis powered by the KTM engine, initially built for the Austrian factory's own planned MotoGP project, which they later cancelled.

An initial shake-down took place in secret last Saturday at Brno and Aoki completed 20 laps. "We wanted to blow out any cobwebs and see if there were any problems - to check that it shifted gear, didn't overheat and so on," explained team manager Chuck Aksland. "There were a few little problems, but first impressions were good.

"The main aim was to get the bike ready for the Estoril tests, which were a joint project between KTM and Proton Team KR. The aim is to assess the potential of the engine, which is of interest to KTM and ourselves. But at this stage there's no policy on any future with the engine. It could be an option... but we just don't know yet".

Tags:
MotoGP, 2004, GRANDE PREMIO MARLBORO DE PORTUGAL, Kurtis Roberts

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