McWilliams returns after Jerez crash

Ulsterman Jeremy McWilliams is fit to make his first appearance of the year for the Ilmor team later this week during pre-season testing in Qatar.

Ulsterman Jeremy McWilliams is fit to make his first appearance of the year for the Ilmor team later this week during pre-season testing in Qatar.

McWilliams, who sat out the recent test in Malaysia through injury, is fit to return to the track at Losail on Wednesday after putting his problems behind him.

McWilliams suffered multiple injuries after crashing out at the test in Jerez in Spain in November.

He suffered a fractured left femur, a fractured collarbone and the loss of a fingertip but he has battled back to fitness.

Following last week’s test at Sepang, the team were keen to step up the pre-season programme ahead of the new MotoGP season, which opens in Qatar next month.

McWilliams, who will link up with Australian team-mate Andrew Pitt for the three-day test at Losail, said: “I had some minor work to my damaged leg on Friday in Ireland. They fiddled around with the screws in my knee to make it easier for me to train and ride.

“I’ve made good progress in the past few weeks and I’m feeling really strong. I can’t wait to get back on the bike.

“It’s been so frustrating being out since November. I’ve been in constant contact with the team and Andrew but nothing compares to actually getting out there and putting the bike through its paces.

“I think we’re all realistic and the biggest problem we have at the moment is a lack of track time. The start of the season will be upon us before we know it so every day counts.

“We made great progress in Jerez before the incident so I hope we can continue going forward and see a significant improvement.”

Mario Illien, Ilmor GP team principal, said: “I’m pleased and surprised at the speed of Jeremy’s recovery. He’s dedicated himself to getting fit again as quickly and safely as possible.”

Following the Losail test the final pre-season outing will be at Jerez from February 22 to 25.

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