ROBERTS LOOKING FOR SPEED IN CHINA Shanghai, China -- May 5, 2007: Kenny Roberts Junior qualified 16th for tomorrow's Grand Prix of China, held on one of the fastest circuits on the grand prix calendar. The hand-built KR212V hybrid is in a...
ROBERTS LOOKING FOR SPEED IN CHINA
Shanghai, China -- May 5, 2007: Kenny Roberts Junior qualified 16th for tomorrow's Grand Prix of China, held on one of the fastest circuits on the grand prix calendar.
The hand-built KR212V hybrid is in a state of constant development, both at the team's headquarters in England's Formula One belt and also at the racetrack. Progress continues to be made, but there still remains a top speed deficit. The result is that Kenny Jr. is forced to ride with renewed enthusiasm to make up for the speed differential.
The 5281 meter track on the western edge of Shanghai is a combination of long straightaways and long, looping corners, which keeps the riders on the very edge of the tire for extended periods of time.
Further complicating matters is the tire rule instituted for 2007, which limits the total number of tires available on the race weekend. Having a limited number of race tires makes it more difficult to confirm the progress of the technical crew during practice and qualifying.
Pole position went to Valentino Rossi (Yamaha), at 1'58.424.
Kenny Roberts Jr.: 16th position, 2'00.763
We've been around this level for a while now as far as qualifying goes. You ride at 100% and slide the rear everywhere and you're pushing the front and you're doing your best and you're on the last part of the grid. I wouldn't say there's anything we could really pinpoint as far as where we are at the moment. But we're trying everything we know. I don't have any teammate to ask and the tire rule is difficult for us. Everything at the moment is difficult, but I know the team's working hard and I'm hoping we can turn it around pretty soon.
Chuck Aksland: Team Manager
Started off yesterday morning and everything didn't look too bad, because we came off a pretty good test in Turkey. We were able to get through a lot of tires in the first session. So right away we were kind of limited on the amount of tires that we could actually use to address the bike, because you tend to get into a scenario where you make adjustments on the bike and then you have a different tire and you're not sure if the tire's affected or the suspension. So what's going to happen is we haven't progressed as much as we need to. We're still down a bit on acceleration and top speed, which is not helping us much.