ROBERTS GAINS FIVE PLACES IN WET QUALIFYING Kurtis Roberts, riding in only fourth MotoGP event since returning mid-season, moved from 19th on dry practice times to 14th in a wet qualifying session for Saturday's Dutch TT - a position he felt ...
ROBERTS GAINS FIVE PLACES IN WET QUALIFYING
Kurtis Roberts, riding in only fourth MotoGP event since returning mid-season, moved from 19th on dry practice times to 14th in a wet qualifying session for Saturday's Dutch TT - a position he felt might have been better if he'd had a little more time on the tricky new Assen circuit he was seeing for the first time.
Roberts, who is substituting for his older brother Kenny, set the time right at the end of the session, at his very last chance, after losing time in the closing stages when he pitted for a tyre change. It meant he was obliged to try for a time with no second chances, crossing the start-finish line some 30 seconds before the chequered flag signaled the end.
With work already in progress on a replacement chassis, Kurtis is riding the original 800cc MotoGP prototype. The team hope the new chassis, with significant geometry changes, will be ready for the US GP, in three weeks time, when regular rider Kenny is also expected to return.
Free practice for the Dutch TT took place in dry but overcast and windy conditions, with heavy rain falling in time for the final timed qualifying session. A forecast of changeable weather means a strong possibility of further rain tomorrow
*KURTIS ROBERTS - 14th Position, 1:51.289*
It would have been nice to be a couple of spots up. We got all our signals crossed with about seven minutes to go. I'd gone out with 15 minutes left when it rained a lot more. I was just trying to feel my way round and get confidence when I got the in board, and we went back to the tyre I'd done the first half of a session on. I just had one lap left. I tried to hang it out a bit without busting my ass. I'm still trying to get used to the rain feel. The biggest thing is getting through all the years of other tyres and their warning signals of when you're going to fall off. These tyres are much better. You think about these things, and you go faster the next lap, and it keeps going. The bike worked great. I'd prefer it to be wet. Now we seem at least to be able to race with the next five or so guys ahead of us in the wet, so that'd be nicer than racing with the four guys behind me.
*KENNY ROBERTS Sr. - TEAM PRINCIPAL*
I think it's going good. Obviously there's a lot of confusion with what tyres we're getting, for different periods within practice, but I thought that if we'd had another lap or two he'd have been quite a bit further up. And we're not that far behind now, so it's starting to work. Kurtis has done a great job. We need one more session. We put on Kurtis's second tyre, and he had one lap. I said, Man you've got to do it. And he went out and did it.Team Roberts-MotoGP Round9-Assen Qualifying