Kurtis Roberts Out at Infineon Raceway

Henny Ray Abrams | May 14, 2010

SONOMA, CA, MAY 14: Kurtis Roberts is going to have to wait a little longer to go racing.After being off a racebike for nearly 20 months, the youngest son of the three-time 500cc World Champion was forced out of the American Superbike class at the West Coast Moto Jam at Infineon Raceway by an electrical gremlin on his Ace Racing Yamaha R1.The team discovered the problem when they arrived at the track on Thursday and, despite heroic efforts, couldn’t successfully resolve it. Roberts missed the morning practice while the team worked on the bike, which wasn’t fixed for afternoon qualifying.”We have a technical issue that we can’t figure out. No one can,” team owner Ace Robey said in the garage next to a stripped-down R1. “It doesn’t make any sense. It’s an electronic issue that’s just… we worked on it last night until about 1 in the morning, since 7 a.m. this morning and can’t figure it out.”Something’s happening where there’s no power getting to the injectors. We’ve switched harnesses, we’ve gone through the relay. We even changed batteries. Nothing works.”Robey said the team had taken part in a track day at Infineon in the past month and that “everything worked fine. No issues whatsoever.” He said there was nothing substantially different on the R1 that would make it behave differently. But when they unloaded on Thursday “all hell broke loose.”Acknowledging that diagnosing electrical issues can often be extremely frustrating, he said it was probably something like “one wire that’s missing or it got pinched in some strange way when we manually inspected all the harnesses.”Roberts returned to his home, while the team continued to work with Stevie Bonsey, who qualified the Ace Racing Yamaha R6 15th in Daytona SportBike.Roberts will next make an appearance in the Lucas Oil Superbike Challenge support races at the Miller Motorsports Park round of the World Superbike Championship on Memorial Day weekend.”Kurtis will be there for sure and we’ll be racing Laguna too,” Robey said.Roberts last rode a Celtic Racing Suzuki in an AMA Superbike race at the penultimate round of the AMA Superbike Championship at Road Atlanta in September of 2008. The 1999 and 2000 Formula Xtreme and 2000 Supersport Champion’s last Superbike win came at Barber Motorsports Park in 2003.

Henny Ray Abrams | Contributing Editor

Abrams is the longest-serving contributor at Cycle News. Over the course of his 35-some years of writing and shooting photos, he’s covered events from MotoGP to the Motocross World Championship - and everything in between.