Roberts to run two-stroke in 2002, four-stroke in 2003

Published: 09 December 2001

Kenny Roberts plans to launch a four-stroke GP bike for the 2003 season.

The three-times world 500 champion, who runs the Proton team from Banbury in Oxfordshire, said he will continue running his two-stroke KR3 machine next season while working on a four-stroke.

Roberts said: "This is kind of an interim year for everybody. Our manufacturing base in England has expanded, with more staff and more capabilities engineering wise and we are on target.

"By 2003, we will probably be able to build even more in-house than we do already. The new 990cc four-strokes will be very powerful, but it remains to be seen how they will perform over a full race distance or in difficult conditions. If the tyres work well on the four-strokes, then it will be tough for the two-strokes but there are no forgone conclusions.

It is understood he will stick with the three-cylinder format.

As expected, Japanese rider Nobuatsu Aoki has been confirmed as one of the team's rider having finally signed a contract, while British rider Jeremy McWilliams is on the brink of clinching a deal with the squad.