Friday, January 04, 2008

MotoGP: Team Roberts with Ducati in 2008?

Kenny Roberts and his family has been in top-flight motorcycle racing for the last three decades. But can they really continue to race in MotoGP in 2008...?

After Honda refused to supply them with engines for the 2008 season, Team Roberts – who had a pretty terrible time in 2007 anyway – is now said to be considering a move to Ducati this year. The team is waiting for a sponsorship deal to come through, which would once more enable them to go racing in MotoGP.

In earlier years, Team Roberts has combined Honda’s 990cc V5 and 800cc V4 engines with its own custom-built chassis, with fairly average results. For 2008, if their much-awaited sponsorship deal does come through, the team will use MotoGP bikes – engines, chassis and the rest of it – leased from Ducati. The team will only look at building its own chassis at a later stage, if at all.

Things actually seem a bit bleak for Team Roberts – the only privateer team left in MotoGP, after the demise of Ilmor last year. While Ducati have, in principle, agreed to supply them with engines, Team Roberts would still have to scrape together enough cash to run the entire season. Being able to hire properly capable riders may also be an issue since Kenny Roberts Jr is now past his best days, and Kurtis Roberts seems to have no great talent for racing motorcycles.

Stay tuned for more information over the next few weeks…

Also see:
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An interview with John Hopkins...

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