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Kurtis comeback delayed by operation

Kurtis comeback delayed by operation

Kurtis comeback delayed by operation

Kurtis Roberts will miss the Camel Grand Prix of Japan this weekend and could also be out of the following round, the Marlboro Grand Prix of Qatar, after undergoing delayed surgery on a broken wrist.

The Proton Team KR rider has been recovering at home in California since picking up the injury in a practice crash at Brno almost a month ago, missing key tests with the team as well what now looks like a total of three races.

"Kurtis is recovering well at home," confirmed Team Manager Chuck Aksland. "We're not sure if he will be fit for Qatar, but he should be racing again for the next race, in Malaysia."

Despite the news on Roberts, Aksland confirmed the team were in buoyant mood after successful recent tests with the new KTM MotoGP motor after the Grande Premio Marlboro de Portugal at Estoril

"Nobu (Aoki) did more than 20 laps with the KTM motor at Estoril on the first day, and more than 50 on the second. There were no problems, and on race tyres he worked up to lap times better than he'd achieved in Sunday's race. They were just short of our qualifying times, set on qualifying tyres.

"We were all pretty impressed by the engine's potential, and we came away with some ideas on what needs to be improved. The problem is with the fly-away GPs there's no time to test on these ideas. We'll do the work and then test again after the last race.

"At that time, we will make a determination over whether and how to continue the programme," added Aksland, who also expressed his satisfaction with the latest batch of tyres delivered by Dunlop for the Portuguese tests.

"The reason Nobu only did 20 laps on day one is because we also had a tyre test with Dunlop on Monday," he continued. "They went well. It looks like they've found a good direction. Every test with them there is some improvement. That should help us some at Motegi."

This weekend Aoki will ride the same version V5 machine he has guided into the points at the last two races. A similar result on Sunday would be just the tonic for the experienced Japanese rider at his home round.

"Of course this is an important race for me, and I will try as hard as always so as to give my home fans something to please them," commented Aoki. "There's more pressure racing at home, but it's also enjoyable. After getting into the points at the last two races I hope we can do even better at Motegi. The encouraging tyre tests give me hope it will be possible."


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