Chinese GP: Team Roberts race notes

ROBERTS STRUGGLES IN CHINA Shanghai, China - May 6, 2007: Kenny Roberts Junior struggled to finish in the points in the Chinese Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit, on a weekend that it became clear that improvements must be...

ROBERTS STRUGGLES IN CHINA

Shanghai, China - May 6, 2007: Kenny Roberts Junior struggled to finish in the points in the Chinese Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit, on a weekend that it became clear that improvements must be made in all areas of performance.

Roberts had qualified a disappointing 16th, and there was little hope that there would be quantum improvements overnight. Among the impediments the team continues to face are the new tire regulations, which limit the number of tires each rider can use. Sorting out the Honda-powered KR212V hybrid with limited tire choices is more difficult for a one-rider team.

And the lack of upgraded power on one of the fastest tracks of the season prevented the team from showing how well the chassis hand-built in the Formula One belt of the U.K. can perform. The combination proved too much to overcome at the immaculate facility west of Shanghai and Roberts spent much of the race by himself, trying as hard as he could, but to little affect.

The race, 22 laps of the spectacular 5.28 km circuit, was held in warm, hazy sunshine, in front of a crowd of just 28,400. It was won by Casey Stoner (Ducati).

Kenny Roberts Jr.: 15th position
It seems that everybody else has made improvements, because you hear about everybody talking about all the improvements they made for here. From here, I'm going to go to Le Mans in my same mentality and if we have a good weekend, we do. I can only go this hard, because the front tire's going to fold or the back tire's going to spin out and I'll crash. So the physical part, like I used to do on a 500, is not there. It's like a go-kart almost, but at the moment I'm just not setting my go-kart up right, I guess.

Chuck Aksland: Team Manager
It was the chassis, engine, tire combination which just was not there this weekend. This makes it extremely frustrating for our rider and engineers. It just wasn't there. We had a meeting with Michelin about what to do for France. And obviously I think Honda understands the part that needs to come from them. Hopefully in France we can make a better run at it. The team worked very good this weekend and deserved better results then what we ended up with.

-credit: tr

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Kenny Roberts