SIXTH-ROW START AFTER CLOSE CALL FOR ROBERTS Losail Circuit, Qatar - March 9, 2007: Kenny Roberts Junior opened his account for the first race of the new 800cc MotoGP era with a disappointing qualifying position, after a big scare earlier in ...
SIXTH-ROW START AFTER CLOSE CALL FOR ROBERTS
Losail Circuit, Qatar - March 9, 2007: Kenny Roberts Junior opened his account for the first race of the new 800cc MotoGP era with a disappointing qualifying position, after a big scare earlier in the crucial one-hour session left his confidence battered, spoiled his momentum, and meant he was unable to match testing times here in February.
The 2000 World Champion, riding the hybrid England-built Honda-powered machine for his father Kenny Roberts's team, qualified 18th, and will start the race from the sixth row of the grid.
Pole position went to Yamaha-mounted Valentino Rossi, after an exciting climax to the first session for the new 800cc machines. It was also the first under new tyre rules, limiting each rider to a pre-selected 31 tyres for the weekend.
Kenny Roberts Junior - 18th Position, 1:57.495
I tried a hard-compound race tyre in the middle of the session, and had a real close call from the left side going into a corner. Confidence-wise, it's one of them things where you get a real bad feeling and it takes away your momentum. Then when I put the qualifying tyre on, there was basically no advantage. I couldn't keep my corner speed up. I got more grip, but I couldn't do a thing with it.
Overall, I haven't been matching the times I did here in the test. I keep thinking we're making the bike better, and my feeling keeps getting better, but the times are tough to do. I put 90 percent of it down to me, not being able to give the guys feedback good enough to find the
right direction. The bike's still no good in the areas I've been struggling. There's a better bike in the garage. We've just got to figure out what needs doing and what I'm doing. Sometimes you ride 100 percent and the bike's doing the right things and it's fine. Sometimes if it's doing the right things at the wrong time, then you're off, and then you look bad, as we look now.
Kenny Roberts SENIOR - Team Owner
We haven't kept up with it. Just before we get there, we go backwards. So it's been a very frustrating weekend so far. Of course we are ready to make big changes to the bike. It's up to Junior. We can change everything on the bike if he wants to.