ROBERTS RECOVERS TO SEVENTH AFTER BAD START Sepang, Malaysia - September 10, 2006: Kenny Roberts Jr finished seventh in today's Malaysian GP at the Sepang circuit, recovering positions in the closing stages after getting a bad start from the ...
ROBERTS RECOVERS TO SEVENTH AFTER BAD START
Sepang, Malaysia - September 10, 2006: Kenny Roberts Jr finished seventh in today's Malaysian GP at the Sepang circuit, recovering positions in the closing stages after getting a bad start from the second row of the grid.
Riding an England-built machine that married a Honda V5 engine to a Team Roberts chassis, the 2000 World Champion finished less than half a second ahead of Casey Stoner (Honda), who had been his last victim.
It was a strong ride, but disappointing after having qualified fourth, only to lose that advantage in the first few yards of the race. But the result still shows the growing strength of the independent constructor's challenge to the full factory machines. Only the two full factory Hondas were ahead, with the KR211V ahead of all the satellite-team machines, using the same engine. Roberts used a modified version of the second-generation chassis that he first raced to the podium at the Catalunyan GP.
The race was won by defending champion Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) from Loris Capirossi (Ducati) after a breathtaking battle over 21 laps of the sweeping 5.548 km circuit, close to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport outside the capital city.
The next race is the Australian GP at Phillip Island, in one week.
KENNY ROBERTS JUNIOR - Seventh Position
I got a bad start - just didn't get off the line well, and that put me in a bad place for the entire race. I was overshooting a lot of these slow corners trying to be aggressive. It took me a while to smooth out and by the time I did, I was where I was at.
I just tried to stay smooth. When John (Hopkins) got past and went after Casey (Stoner), I was able to catch Casey too. I passed him, and I wanted to make a run at John, but I needed another couple of laps.
KENNY ROBERTS - TEAM OWNER
I wasn't really confident going into it, so I think that was probably the best we could have hoped for. In practice, again we are doing the one or two laps that put us up there, but I think he is disguising at that point some of the weaknesses we've got. He was having trouble all weekend getting off the slower corners without spinning, and it just magnifies it in the race, especially after a bad start. When he gets ahead, he's okay because it slows them down on the corner exit too. We really didn't have enough time with the new chassis to work that out.