Kanemoto Looks to LeMans

Brent Avis
by Brent Avis
Kanemoto Racing arrives at Le Mans this weekend, following a successfultest session in the lead-up to the French Grand Prix on Sunday 19 May. TheTeam will compete for the first time at the 2.598 miles/4.180km Bugatticircuit at the legendary French venue, which has hosted its famous 24-hourMotorcycle race since 1978.

Jurgen vd Goorbergh was again pleased with their 11th place finish at thethird round in Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez and confident that theirBridgestone-assisted development is edging them closer to the extra secondthey are chasing per race to move them into contention for top six finishes...

"Jerez was good and again we made progress on finding optimum set-up andachieved more good tire development. It was also great to be battling withMcWilliams and Laconi and over-taking them on the final lap again showedthe consistency we are finding to compete hard - right to the end of therace. I feel we are close to finding that one second that will move us upto be competing for five and sixth place finish," described Vd Goorbergh,whose 11th and 12th finishes in South Africa and round three in Spain haveplaced the Dutchman 14th in the rider's championship.

Team Owner and Manager Erv Kanemoto, returned with his Team to the Jerezcircuit the day after the Spanish Grand Prix, undertaking an extensive testsession with their Honda NSR500 two-stroke. The new Team, playing catch-upthis year as they gather valuable race data at each circuit, were pleasedto have maximised the opportunity.

"The tests at Jerez this week were very valuable, they allowed us to ridetwo complete race distances. We were specifically working on suspensionset-up for Jurgen and continuing tyre development. Le Mans, however, willbe very different from Jerez with its slower corners and likely to haveless grip. Le Mans is more in line with the characteristics of Welkom - wewere pleased with our performance there so we will wait and see," relayedKanemoto from the Team Headquarters in Aalst, Belgium.

The slower corners around Le Mans are likely to suit the fastcorner-exiting four-stroke entries and machine power will be tested to thelimit up the gentle incline of the right-turn, immediately following thestart finish straight. However, like the kink of the left-right-leftchicane on the circuit's back straight, Kanemoto Racing will again beaiming to disrupt the dominance of the new four-stroke contenders,determined to move up to a top ten finish.

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