But it wasn't for lack of effort. The youngest son of three-times 500cc world champion and team owner Kenny Roberts crashed in morning practice entering turn five.

"Just trying too hard and lost the front on the brakes," he said. "Still on the brakes on my knee and lost the front in turn five. You know you can't go any faster, but you're trying to and that's when you know it's going to happen. We're not going to make up any time anywhere else. We definitely aren't going to make anything up under acceleration or on top speed. So where else are you going to make it up on this track?

"Even the not stop-and-go stuff, it's still low in the powerband, unless it's revving its guts out," he added. "It's got to have a torque curve and we don't have one compared to everyone else's. We knew how the session was going to go before the session started. It's just getting past the point of frustration, but we're here because it's not like you can sit here and say they're working on it, they're working on it, they're working on it. For us, this is completely not against any part of the team, because we're all working our butts off."

"It's no fun to be at the bottom of the time sheets, that's for sure," admitted team manager Chuck Aksland. "The guys aren't working any less hard than they did last year when we were at the top. It's just very frustrating and a very difficult weekend. We'll go out and do our best tomorrow. Kurtis's feedback is the bike's working great, corner speed's good, he catches people on the brakes, we're just lacking acceleration. And no matter how fast you make the motorcycle go around the corner, we can't make up for that acceleration."

 

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