The much-anticipated V5 four-stroke Proton KR racer is scheduled to make its racing debut at the Italian Grand Prix at Mugallo this weekend.

The much-anticipated V5 four-stroke Proton KR racer is scheduled to make its racing debut at the Italian Grand Prix at Mugallo this weekend.

The team will have three units in Italy, with a bike for Jeremy McWilliams and Nobuatsu Aoki and one spare. The V5 machine was shown off during practice for the French Grand Prix last month. It was the first time the bike was tested on a track.

The team said the tests went well. “We had a few little hiccups, but nothing serious,” team manager Chuck Aksland. “The engines held together the whole time, and we were able to make a good start at improving our base settings and getting some track miles done to build up data on the new machine.

Team owner Kenny Roberts said it would take a few outings before the machine was at its optimum. “The bike is not running to its potential yet, and unfortunately there’s not much time to do anything about it,” he said.

“We know we need a lot more development. But this bike is just the match we’re using to light the fire.

“As I said at Le Mans, it’ll be three months before we’re ready to do battle. It’s not going to be a rocket ship at Mugello, and it’s not going to handle as well as we’d like. We don’t have enough parts for that yet.

“Le Mans was basically a shakedown, and the good news is that the engines held together. We’re letting everybody see what we’re doing in the early stages of development. We could be wrong in our direction, but I think it’s interesting for people to see. We have a very broad power band at the moment, and our first target will be to take some of the mid-range power and move it higher up the rev range.”

McWilliams was pleased with the bike after testing it. “When you’re riding it you can feel a much heavier motorcycle with a lot more power,” he said.

“The V5 still has a way to go but it feels great. I was only maybe a second and a half off my best time on the three-cylinder in the wet. It has potential on the dyno and the team have a lot of experience with the chassis anyway so it’s just a matter of getting the whole package working.

“There are things to work on like getting used to a new slipper clutch and I’ve have to learn the injection system all over again that but I’m young enough to adapt.”

Original article from Car