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Proton Team KR and KTM pleased as Portuguese test ends

Proton Team KR and KTM pleased as Portuguese test ends

Proton Team KR and KTM pleased as Portuguese test ends

Proton Team KR completed their first public test using the KTM V4 prototype engine in a hybrid chassis at Estoril today. The British-based team owned and run by former 500cc World Champion Kenny Roberts are in negotiations with the Austrian factory over a possible link-up for the 2005 MotoGP World Championship and, after two days of encouraging development work in Portugal, the move looks to be a step closer.

"The results are very pleasing, the lap times with the KTM engine were very similar to the times with the V5 in the race on Sunday so that is encouraging at this stage," commented Roberts. "Now we have five races left to get the most out of the V5 but we will continue to work closely with KTM and we'll make a decision at the end of the season.

"The idea of this test was to have a look at how the engine worked out on the track in our chassis and for KTM to have a look at us. There is certainly no decision yet and there are still a lot of options for us to consider."

KTM's Technical Director Harald Bartol was equally satisfied with the results: "We are very pleased with the test – there has been no major problems with the engine which has meant that we've been able to concentrate on development, as opposed to just troubleshooting, as often happens at this stage of the process," he said. "We've done about forty hours on the dyno with the engine and now nine hours on track without a problem so its durability has proven to be excellent."

Carlos Checa also rode this morning, appearing on track for an hour and a half as he made some slight set-up adjustments before completing a race simulation with the YZR-M1. Checa had also tested yesterday alongside his team-mate Valentino Rossi, who tried out a new exhaust system, and their Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha Team Director Davide Brivio was encouraged by the progress made.

"Once again it was a good test, we tested a lot of tyres for Michelin again," commented Brivio. "It was our last chance to test before the end of the season and, with five races to go, we wanted to improve and check as many things as possible. We have concluded our plan so we hope to be prepared for these last races.

"Carlos worked again on his bike setting and improved his lap times from Sunday, so it was a positive test for him. Valentino had a beneficial day (yesterday) which I think could put us in a good position for the final part of the championship."


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