KURTIS GETS BACK TO SCORING AT BRNO Brno, Czech Republic - August 19, 2007: Kurtis Roberts finished 15th in today's Czech Republic GP, adding to his championship points tally after overcoming a poor start as the lights turned green. Hopes of...
KURTIS GETS BACK TO SCORING AT BRNO
Brno, Czech Republic - August 19, 2007: Kurtis Roberts finished 15th in today's Czech Republic GP, adding to his championship points tally after overcoming a poor start as the lights turned green.
Hopes of early improvement on his 17th-place grid position evaporated when the engine bogged down on the line, and the England-built Honda-powered hybrid KR212V was last at the end of the first of 22 laps of the 5.403km Brno circuit.
Once the engine settled, the younger son of team principal and triple World Champion Kenny Roberts was able to get down to work, picking up two places on the second lap, then another on lap six, putting himself in the points again. All race long, however, Kurtis was fighting front-and rear-wheel slides, as well as a shortage of acceleration and top speed. At the finish, he was a lonely 15th.
The race was won by World Championship leader Casey Stoner (Ducati), his seventh victory of the year, in warm, sunny conditions in front of a crowd of 141, 632. Title rival Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) could manage no better than seventh.
KURTIS ROBERTS - 15th Position
For some reason the thing bogged down off the line. I'd got a good jump, and it just died. That made life difficult, because instead of being able to pass (Makoto) Tamada and (Ivan) Silva in one lap and be done with them, it took a long time. Their bikes are so much faster right now than ours: I'd set 'em up and set 'em up, then block pass them, and they'd get me back on the drive out of the corner or up the hill. It just frustrates you. It took four or five laps when I should have been with Nakano up ahead. I struggled with tyres after that. I was catching Nakano, and I could tell he was having the same issues I was. Then it started chattering and sliding much worse. We just did all we could do to get 15th. We can only go round the corners so fast. We are still missing out on acceleration and top speed. Hopefully, some engine upgrades will come along soon.
CHUCK AKSLAND - Team Manager
We're all hoping to get some new engine bits eventually, but it sounds like the tyre / chassis combination was the biggest set-back today. Kurtis said he didn't really have too much grip, losing the front and pushing the thing around quite a bit, and spinning a lot. Hopefully the weather will co-operate and we'll get to test some tyres tomorrow or Tuesday. We need to find out which constructions and compounds work best with our bike. Things have moved on since we have last been able to test some tyres and hopefully we can find a combination that works better then what we have now. We'd also like the opportunity to do some more back to back with the two chassis we have. There are differences between them, and the newer one should be better but we have not yet had a good chance to confirm that this is the case. The motor is what it is, but we should be able to improve our lap times by working on chassis and tyres.