Kenny Roberts Goes Sideways

Brent Avis
by Brent Avis
Billy Hamill, the 1996 World Speedway Champion and 2000 series runner-up,will ride under the Team KR banner during the 2001 Speedway season.

Whydid Kenny Roberts decide to branch out into Speedway? "I'm interested inmotorsports in general and I was impressed by the professionalism of theway Speedway is now presented on TV. I'm also happy to be involved withsomeone like Billy who wants to move his sport forwards."

In many ways,this link marks a return to his roots for the Roberts Team as Kennystarted his illustrious racing career on the oval dirt tracks of the USA...

Billy Hamill has always been aware that speedway needs to broaden itsappeal and that one of the things holding it back in the eyes of otherbike sports is the perceived technical stagnation and irrelevance of thebikes used. Joining Team KR is one way of fighting back.

"I'm excited. Speedway is on the up but this is a big boost. It's about time there wasa link between mainstream motorcycle sport and speedway."

Hamill will carry the Team KR colors in the British, Polish and Swedishleagues, but the emphasis will be on the Speedway Grand Prix Championshipand World Cup events.

Like team principal Kenny Roberts, Hamill is originally from Californiabut during the racing season bases himself in the UK where he rides for -and captains - Coventry in the British league. Coincidentally, Coventryis the nearest track to GP Motorsports, Kenny's engineering companyresponsible for the development of the Proton KR 500cc Grand Prix bike.

Commenting on the signing, John Postlethwaite, Chief Executive of SpeedwayWorld Championship rights holders Benfield Sports, said: "This is greatnews for Billy and great news for the sport. I've worked with KennyRoberts in Moto GP and I know the level of professionalism he will bringto Speedway."

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Brent Avis
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