ROBERTS REPLICATES PORTUGUESE QUALIFYING ROW Ricardo Tormo Circuit, Valencia - October 28, 2006: Kenny Roberts Junior will start tomorrow's Valencia Grand Prix from the fifth row of the grid after qualifying 14th - almost the same position from...
ROBERTS REPLICATES PORTUGUESE QUALIFYING ROW
Ricardo Tormo Circuit, Valencia - October 28, 2006: Kenny Roberts Junior will start tomorrow's Valencia Grand Prix from the fifth row of the grid after qualifying 14th - almost the same position from which he rode to third in the Portuguese Grand Prix two weeks ago. He qualified 13th at Estoril.
Roberts missed his chance for a better starting position because of some wrong turnings in the constant quest to find improved machine settings. But he was confident that his race pace should be competitive, and that he can aim for another good result. The 2006 season has seen a strong recovery for the 2000 World Champion, including two rostrum finishes.
Roberts is also defending sixth place overall for tomorrow's race. Currently he is seven points clear of Honda rider Casey Stoner.
"Junior" rides a Honda-powered hybrid machine with an England-made chassis built by his father Kenny's firm.
The Valencia GP, third round of the year in Spain, closes an exciting 17-round season, with the championship not yet resolved. It also marks the end of an era - of the first-generation 990cc MotoGP prototypes. >From next year revised regulations stipulate 800cc engines. The team has already started work on its new chassis for the new V4 Honda engine.
Kenny Roberts Junior - 14th position, 1'32.358
I think the machine is closer than I am at the moment. There is probably more to come from myself than anything. This morning I did some mid- to low-33s, and felt pretty good. I thought I could go quite a bit faster. I started on used tyres, then we got down to the time that I was doing this morning.
We've been trying different settings in both bikes each time I went out. I guess if we'd have left the bike with one setting and just kept throwing in tyres I might have been a little bit better off, but we're always trying to improve it, and just never seemed to hit. We'll change a bit more for the morning and try and get to the low 33s. If we do that, that's pretty good for the race. Just a matter of getting a good start. I was never really in synch with it today, so I don't think it's the end of the world. We were round the same place in Portugal. Get a good start and have a good pace, and that should be us.
Kenny Roberts - Team Owner
We've been fighting grip since we got here. Now the package is getting better. It's a combination of not getting it right on day one and practice one, then playing catch-up the rest of the time. We have no experience on this race-track with this bike, and if you hit it wrong at the beginning, it's difficult. In Portugal it seemed good right from day one.
-credit: team roberts