Kenny Roberts’ Proton team will once again resort to their KR3 two-strokes for Sunday’s Spanish GP at Jerez.
The Proton team had hoped to have its new V5 four-stroke machine up and running for Sunday’s race but a scheduled Snetterton test had to be cancelled after one of the bikes broke a rod bearing while on the dyno.
The V5 won’t be ready to race this weekend but the team still hopes to take it to the Spanish circuit to get in some testing after the races.
Valentino Rossi will start the GP leading the championship by seven points and is confident of repeating last year’s win. He is already the lap record holder and has won four victories at the track clocking up wins in 125s, 250s, 500s, and MotoGP.
The third round will provide the opportunity for the Ducati team to show how fast the Desmosedici really is. This will be the first time that riders Loris Capirossi and Troy Bayliss will be riding the bike at a track they’ve ridden the V4 at before.
The machines had never been to either Suzuka or Welkom before racing there but Bayliss and Capirossi still managed to clock up 40 points between them. Jerez has seen three separate Ducati tests so should prove a much easier task.
Marco Melandri will be returning to work for the Fortuna Yamaha team after a month off to recover from his Suzuka injury. Spanish team-mate Carlos Checa, who is currently in eighth position in the championship, is looking for another podium finish to go with the second place he picked up in Jerez in 2000.
Kawasaki will be fielding Alex Hofmann as a third rider alongside regulars Garry McCoy and Andrew Pitt. The team’s official test rider will be racing in the first of six planned GP rides after not having raced since the German Grand Prix last July, where he finished in tenth place.
Free practice starts at 8am Firday with MotoGP qualifying at 1pm Saturday and warm up for the races starting at 8am on Sunday. Check back regularly on motorcyclenews.com for all the latest results from the Spanish circuit.
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