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Two-rider team unlikely for Team Roberts in 2007

Two-rider team unlikely for Team Roberts in 2007

Two-rider team unlikely for Team Roberts in 2007

Coming to the close of a great season for Team Roberts, caught up with Chuck Aksland to talk about new chassis, the move to 800cc and the chances of a two-rider team in future seasons.

As we learned last week, you have a new frame for the last two races of the season. Are you expecting the same kind of leap in results as happened when you previously changed the chassis?

We have made many changes during the season and we had another chassis in Japan. During the race we struggled but had a good day of testing the Monday after the race. The last few races have not gone like we had hoped, sometimes that happens in racing, but we are looking forward to being closer to the front at the last 2 races.

A lot of teams have tried out the new 800cc bikes already. How is the Team Roberts project coming along, and is there any kind of provisional first outing for it?

We are currently just waiting for Honda to send us through the information that we need in order to start designing the bike for next season, which hopefully will be within the next week or so. This will be a head start on when we started for this season. Our target for the first test will be after the testing ban ends in 07. Although it sounds like we have a lot of time, in reality this time goes by very quick, especially with the holidays sandwiched in there somewhere but everyone in at the factory are looking forward to getting underway.

Having just found your niche in the 990s, does it come as a frustration to have to change to 800cc? Or has your 990cc development always been something that can help with next year's bike?

There will be some things to take into consideration in regards to the new engine, but most of our development over this year will be relevant to the new machine. Development is on-going in MotoGP and never stops. Once we begin with the new bike there will be components made through testing and racing that will continue to evolve the performance all through the year.

Will Team Roberts be running a two-man team next year? What kind of rider would you be looking at if so?

At the moment we would like to bring the team up to a two-rider effort, but that depends on engine supply and sponsorship. It looks likely that we will once again run a one-rider effort next year and hopefully we can expand beyond that in 2008.

What kind of results are you expecting from the last two races, both on European soil?

We go into every race working for a top result and the last 2 races are no different. It would be nice to have another shot at a podium. Kenny Jr and the team have done an excellent job this year and getting back on the rostrum would be a great way to finish off the year!

MotoGP, 2006, GRANDE PREMIO DE PORTUGAL, Kurtis Roberts

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