French GP: Kanemoto Racing preview

Kanemoto Racing tackles the Bugatti. Kanemoto Racing arrives at Le Mans this weekend, following a successful test session in the lead-up to the French Grand Prix on Sunday 19 May. The Team will compete for the first time at the 2.598...

Kanemoto Racing tackles the Bugatti.

Kanemoto Racing arrives at Le Mans this weekend, following a successful test session in the lead-up to the French Grand Prix on Sunday 19 May. The Team will compete for the first time at the 2.598 miles/4.180km Bugatti circuit at the legendary French venue, which has hosted its famous 24-hour Motorcycle race since 1978.

Jurgen vd Goorbergh was again pleased with their 11th place finish at the third round in Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez and confident that their Bridgestone-assisted development is edging them closer to the extra second they are chasing per race to move them into contention for top six finishes.

"Jerez was good and again we made progress on finding optimum set-up and achieved more good tyre development. It was also great to be battling with McWilliams and Laconi and over-taking them on the final lap again showed the consistency we are finding to compete hard - right to the end of the race. I feel we are close to finding that one second that will move us up to be competing for five and sixth place finishes." described Vd Goorbergh, whose 11th and 12th finishes in South Africa and round three in Spain have placed the Dutchman 14th in the rider's championship.

Team Owner and Manager Erv Kanemoto, returned with his Team to the Jerez circuit the day after the Spanish Grand Prix, undertaking an extensive test session with their Honda NSR500 two-stroke. The new Team, playing catch-up this year as they gather valuable race data at each circuit, were pleased to have maximised the opportunity.

"The tests at Jerez this week were very valuable, they allowed us to ride two complete race distances. We were specifically working on suspension set-up for Jurgen and continuing tyre development. Le Mans, however, will be very different from Jerez with its slower corners and likely to have less grip. Le Mans is more in line with the characteristics of Welkom - we were pleased with our performance there so we will wait and see." relayed Kanemoto from the Team Headquarters in Aalst, Belgium.

The slower corners around Le Mans are likely to suit the fast corner-exiting four-stroke entries and machine power will be tested to the limit up the gentle incline of the right-turn, immediately following the start finish straight. However, like the kink of the left-right-left chicane on the circuit's back straight, Kanemoto Racing will again be aiming to disrupt the dominance of the new four-stroke contenders, determined to move up to a top ten finish.

LE MANS FACT FILE

The Bugatti circuit was constructed in 1965 to host world championship motorsport events other than the world famous 24-hour car race, which is staged on the longer road circuit. The Bugatti track incorporates parts of the 24-hour circuit including the famous start and finish straight and the fast uphill right hand corner into the esses. This year the length of track has been reduced to 4.180km with a change after the esses at the top of the hill. The track now goes slightly left before a longer, faster right hand bend replaces the hairpin. The first French Grand Prix to be staged on the Bugatti circuit was in 1969 and was won by Italian Giacomo Agostini, riding the MV Agusta.

Length: 2.598 miles/ 4.180km
Direction: Clockwise
Pole Position: Left
Right corners: Nine
Left corners: Five

Width: 13m
Longest Straight: 450m
Constructed: 1965
Modified: 2002

Records: new circuit length.
500cc Race Winner, 2001:
Max Biaggi (Yamaha) 46m59.346s - 95.639mph/ 153.916 kmh.

-kr-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Max Biaggi , Giacomo Agostini
Teams Williams