POINTS FOR ROBERTS WITH BEST-EVER RESULT Kurtis Roberts survived a rain-hit British GP to claim 13th position, adding to the team's point score and claiming a personal best MotoGP finish. Roberts started from 19th on the grid, but ran strongly...
POINTS FOR ROBERTS WITH BEST-EVER RESULT
Kurtis Roberts survived a rain-hit British GP to claim 13th position, adding to the team's point score and claiming a personal best MotoGP finish.
Roberts started from 19th on the grid, but ran strongly in the early stages, passing several riders to get to 11th place by the tenth of 3 laps of the 2.5-mile circuit outside Derby. That was on a streaming wet track, but the rain was already easing off, and as the track dried he found his soft tyre choice was no longer effective. He started to drop back, but was able to save a position in the World Championship points.
Kurtis, younger son of team principal Kenny Roberts, has been racing in the US after one low-key MotoGP season. He is riding the England-made KR212V, powered by a Honda V4 engine, in place of his brother, former World Champion Kenny Junior. This was his third race on the machine, after being brought in to try to speed up development of the all-new motorcycle.
The race was won by World Championship leader Casey Stoner (Ducati), his fifth win of the year.
Team Roberts is constructing a revised chassis to solve handling problems with their prototype racer, the first 800cc MotoGP machine they had built. This is targeted for the US GP in July, and Kenny Junior is expected to return to the saddle at that time.
KURTIS ROBERTS - 13th position
"I fell this morning in warm-up, and I'm still pretty sore, so it took me a lap or two to get the confidence back. When I started catching guys -(Shinya) Nakano and (Marco) Melandri, I felt good. Went around them pretty easy. Then maybe four or five laps after, when a dry line was developing, the bike started moving around a lot on full lean, and was getting worse and worse. The track was so dry in some places, and wet in others. I was searching for water to cool the tyre down.
"Once I started losing places again, I was just on salvage mode -- just looking at the lap countdown. I couldn't go any faster - if I leaned it over the thing moved all around. We picked too soft a rear. It was great when it was wet, but once it started drying up it was terrible. But we got points, and at least I didn't fall off again."
KENNY ROBERTS - TEAM PRINCIPAL
"We did better than I thought we were going to do, anyway. It wasn't a useful day - we didn't learn anything in terms of what problems we have. You couldn't with this weather. It looked like we were going forward for half the race, then it dried out and we weren't good. Which was surprising, because we're usually better when it starts to get a dry line. That was a tyre issue, but Kurtis was able to get some mileage and get comfortable. Assen should be better. If we get a bit of weather help and improve our set-up, we could start working our way back up again."
-credit: team roberts