Malaysian GP: Team Roberts race report

MORE KNOWLEDGE BUT NO POINTS FOR TEAM ROBERTS Sole Team Roberts rider Kurtis Roberts finished 20th in today's Malaysian GP, pressing on and experimenting with settings after losing any chance of points when he ran off the track after six of 21...

MORE KNOWLEDGE BUT NO POINTS FOR TEAM ROBERTS

Sole Team Roberts rider Kurtis Roberts finished 20th in today's Malaysian GP, pressing on and experimenting with settings after losing any chance of points when he ran off the track after six of 21 laps of the 5.548-km Sepang circuit outside Kuala Lumpur.

The gravel-trap excursion came after yet another of the front-wheel slides that have plagued his weekend. He managed to rejoin, although way out of touch.

The 28-year-old second son of racing legend Kenny Roberts used the rest of the afternoon to continue gaining knowledge and experience with a bike he only rode for the first time after the start of the season, when he replaced his elder brother Kenny Junior. Fiddling especially with electronic settings, Kurtis managed to do his fastest lap of the whole weekend more than halfway through the race ... after switching the anti-wheelspin traction control right off!

Kurtis had qualified 20th for the race, the second-last in the 18-round season, troubled throughout practice with front-wheel slides. With the electronics disabled, he was able to use the power and wheelspin of the Honda-powered England-built Team Roberts hybrid to reduce the problem.

The race brought a tenth victory of the year to newly crowned World Champion Casey Stoner (Ducati), with Honda-mounted Marco Melandri and Dani Pedrosa second and third.

KURTIS ROBERTS - 20th Position

I ran off the track after the first six or seven laps, and when you're already at the back then you lose that much time, then you're about a minute behind. It kinda sucks as far as that goes. But I just tried to stay in there and get more used to the bike, changing settings, and figuring out what to do for Valencia to make it better. Maybe we can reward everyone's work. The mechanics and crew guys have all worked really hard, so like to give them something to cheer about.

I started changing the traction control settings, and I found what worked. I took it all the way off, then I could turn the bike better, and it improved the lap time. This is my first year of riding with traction control. I've never liked it, but you can find a way to ride round the problems and maybe get rid of it, get the set-up better and maybe go faster. The fastest lap I did all weekend was with it off.

CHUCK AKSLAND - Team Manager

Kurtis tried different settings to help understand what the bike is doing overall. We played around with that at the beginning of the year, with Kenny Junior, and you learn something every time you switch a button and try something new. He said it did do some positive things. We'll go to Valencia and start with similar settings, and see if it works positively there. If not, we'll work again to try and find what suits that circuit.

-credit: teamroberts/accession

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Kurtis Roberts , Kenny Roberts Jr. , Marco Melandri , Casey Stoner , Dani Pedrosa