Tom Jojic has been working with Olivier Jacque in Sepang (Pic: Andrew Northcott)

Tom Jojic has been working with Olivier Jacque in Sepang (Pic: Andrew Northcott)

 

MotoGP Sepang test: Clue to Team Roberts future in Sepang

By Matthew Birt -

MotoGP

 07 February 2008 12:52

The likelihood of Kenny Roberts competing in this year’s MotoGP world championship seems more remote than ever after the British-based squad’s chief engineer turned up working for Kawasaki’s new test team in Malaysia today.

Tom Jojic has been Kenny Roberts Junior and Kurtis Roberts’ crew chief for the past two years and is a long serving member of the American’s squad, but he has now landed a job with Olivier Jacque in Kawasaki’s test team.

Jojic’s departure serves as the biggest hint yet that the prospect of the American’s Banbury-based squad racing in 2008 appears non-existent if key personnel are turning up in other roles in the paddock.

Team Roberts is still to learn whether its bid to be part of a three-pronged American motorsport project in America – backed by the MGM Grand casino and hotel – has been successful.

A successful conclusion to protracted negotiations though is likely to have been reached far too late to protect Team Roberts’ premier class status in 2008.

The plan was dealt a major blow early last month when Ducati boss Claudio Domenicali said it was impossible for the Bologna factory to supply engines or complete machines until the 2009 world championship.