More than one knowledgeable observer considers Kurtis Roberts, younger brother of reigning World GP champion, Kenny Roberts, Jr., to be the most talented of the Roberts clan. Stepping up to a full-time AMA Superbike ride this year, Kurtis is even considered a contender for the championship, despite the star-studded field he will be up against.
Kurtis seems to have endless determination and confidence. When he needed to win the final 600cc Supersport race of the year at Willow Springs in order to gain the championship, he predicted he would win, and he did win — with a spectacular (although, some would say foolish) last corner pass of rival Eric Bostrom.
Riding under the Erion Racing stable, Kurtis will have a factory-backed Honda RC51 to campaign in the AMA Superbike series this year. Riding the RC51 only occasionally last year, Roberts was frequently the quickest on the Honda (posting better lap times than Miguel Duhamel and Nicky Hayden, for instance) at various venues. The kid is a quick study and seems to adapt to any motorcycle with ease. Trained on two strokes, in the Roberts’ tradition, he quickly became a dominate AMA four-stroke rider, for example.
While everyone was watching Honda’s Nicky Hayden blossom, Kurtis Roberts, somewhat more quietly, was developing just as quickly, or more quickly, into an AMA, and eventually, World champion superbike or GP contender.