Points But Little Joy For Roberts In First Race Losail Circuit, Qatar - March 10, 2007: Kenny Roberts Junior took 13th place and two points in today's opening round of the 2007 season, the first race of the new 800cc MotoGP era. The result ...
Points But Little Joy For Roberts In First Race
Losail Circuit, Qatar - March 10, 2007: Kenny Roberts Junior took 13th place and two points in today's opening round of the 2007 season, the first race of the new 800cc MotoGP era.
The result followed a frustrating weekend, struggling to get the all-new KR212V machine up to speed, on a circuit that was unwilling to co-operate. Kenny started the race from the sixth row of the grid, and in spite of strenuous efforts, was unable to improve his position significantly on a machine that lacked top speed.
Other aspects of the new-generation machine were more promising. New tyre rules limit choice to a small number of pre-selected tyres, but Team Roberts had no problems with their Michelins. There had also been general worries about fuel consumption, with tank size down from 22 to 21 litres. Again, the KR212V gave no cause for the team to join the general concern.
The race was won by Australian Casey Stoner, his maiden victory on a Ducati which was significantly the fastest down the long straight of the 5.380km Losail circuit. Several times he overtook pole qualifier and second-placed finisher Valentino Rossi's Yamaha at that point.
Kenny's frustration was compounded by getting caught up with other riders who were faster in a straight line. Try as he might in the corners, he would lose it all again on the straightaway, so all efforts to fight his way out of the group came to naught. At the finish he managed to cross the line one hundredth of a second ahead of Toni Elias (Honda), but three hundredths behind Olivier Jacque's Kawasaki.
The next race is in two weeks, when the MotoGP circus returns to Europe for the Spanish GP at Jerez.
KENNY ROBERTS Jr. - 13th position
I honestly don't have anything positive to say about this race. We just need to continue making progress at Jerez.
KENNY ROBERTS Sr. - Team Owner
A bad weekend. It's down on motor, as it appears. He gets passed down the straightaway, so it's kind of hard to put together a decent lap, and he could never gain any ground. I don't think the race-track suited the motorcycle. No problem with fuel or anything - but speed-wise, it wasn't running its best. It's all very new.