ROBERTS HITS TROUBLE IN CLOSING LAPS AT JEREZ Jerez de la Frontera, Spain - March 25, 2007: Kenny Roberts Junior finished 16th in today's Spanish GP, one place out of the points, after dropping back from what seemed a secure top-ten finish when...
ROBERTS HITS TROUBLE IN CLOSING LAPS AT JEREZ
Jerez de la Frontera, Spain - March 25, 2007: Kenny Roberts Junior finished 16th in today's Spanish GP, one place out of the points, after dropping back from what seemed a secure top-ten finish when a transmission gremlin struck his Honda-powered KR212V machine.
It happened on the 24th of 27 laps of the 4.423km Andalucian circuit, outside the sherry capital of Jerez, while the 2000 World Champion was holding a strong position in a six-strong group contesting ninth place. Roberts was feeling secure, and confident he could prevail over his immediate rivals, until the problem struck.
It was a disappointing end to a weekend of solid improvement for the independent England-based team, after the difficult first race at Qatar.
Roberts had started from the fourth row of the grid, and had held tenth position for the first half of the race. At that point, Alex Barros (Ducati) and then Chris Vermeulen (Suzuki) managed to sneak past. But Roberts was confident he had the pace to regain the front of the group when it mattered until trouble struck suddenly.
The race, marking the start of was run in sunny but cool and breezy conditions, in front of a crowd of 132,000 fanatical Spanish fans. It was won by Valentino Rossi (Yamaha), from Dani Pedrosa (Honda) and Colin Edwards (Yamaha).
The next race is the Turkish GP at Istanbul, in three weeks.
KENNY ROBERTS Jr. - 16th Position
I don't know exactly what went wrong, but something happened -- possibly with the transmission or something. It happened suddenly, and I went sideways for about half-a-second in third gear. I was going to pull in, but I was able to make the last few laps.
Up until then, I felt I had a little bit better pace than the guys in front of me, that I was saving for the last couple of laps. But I don't think that matters now.
KENNY ROBERTS Sr. - Team Owner
We don't know exactly what happened. It seems there was a problem in the transmission. Whether it be the clutch, gearbox or something else we don't know yet. We'll have to check into it and find the problem. Until then, it was not as fast as we need to go. We have to work on more speed.