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Team Roberts will enjoy Honda RCV power during the 2006 MotoGP season, with the news that HRC have reached an agreement with the independent team run by former triple 500cc world champion Kenny Roberts.

The concept is not new, with Honda having made their V5 engines available to wild-card outfit Moriwaki Racing in recent seasons, but is a major boost for Team Roberts - who began this season with what turned out to be uncompetitive KTM powerplants, which were then controversially withdrawn by the Austrian manufacturer halfway through the racing year.

Team Roberts made just two GP appearances after that loss, using the 2004 spec Proton KR and their own V5 engine, but have now secured their most competitive technical package (the team are expected to keep Michelin tyres) since the decision to leave Yamaha and build their own bikes in 1996.

Both Kurtis and Kenny Jr have been linked to a seat with their father's team for 2006, when it may expend to a two rider outfit.

Honda had planned to hand former world champion Kenny Jr the chance to ride an RC211V at this week's Valencia test, in readiness for his father to take delivery of the engines.

Unfortunately, Roberts' wrist injury - which saw him miss his last three GPs with Suzuki - will now also prevent him from sampling the RCV, but will he be propelled by its V5 engine next year anyway?

Meanwhile, Shane Byrne, who rode for Team Roberts until the withdraw of the KTM engines, has not been mentioned in connection with a 2006 ride and is instead being linked to a Rizla Suzuki BSB seat.

Biaggi's Honda, Barcelona MotoGP IRTA tests, March 2005


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