McWilliams would like more prep time

Ulsterman Jeremy McWilliams would like extra time to prepare for the opening round of the MotoGP season but knows his Ilmor team will get no more chances to test their new machine.

Ulsterman Jeremy McWilliams would like extra time to prepare for the opening round of the MotoGP season but knows his Ilmor team will get no more chances to test their new machine.

McWilliams was speaking after the final pre-season test at Jerez in Spain and ahead of the first round of the season at Losail in Qatar on Saturday, March 11.

McWilliams and Australian team-mate Andrew Pitt are busy proving the new 800cc Ilmor machine ahead of its first race of the season in MotoGP.

“We have definitely made some steps in the right direction ahead of Qatar,” said McWilliams.

“Ideally, I would like another test but unfortunately time won’t allow us that privilege. On the whole, things are looking positive.”

McWilliams was 23rd fastest during the final test at Jerez as former world champion Valentino Rossi set a new record time and scooped a £35,000 prize into the bargain.

Rossi set the quickest time and won a BMW Z4 car with a lap of one minute 38.394 seconds on the factory Yamaha.

Spaniard Dani Pedrosa was second fastest on the Repsol Honda with Rossi’s American team-mate Colin Edwards setting the third best time.

Pedrosa’s American team-mate Nicky Hayden, the defending MotoGP champion, was fourth quickest.

Rossi admitted: “I knew that I had a chance to try to win this competition. However, I knew it was going to be a hard fight as well and I definitely expected Pedrosa to be as strong as he was.

“It was a fun battle with him, the first real one of the year. The most important thing about this is that it shows what great work we’ve done over the winter. Everyone has tried so hard and this is a nice way to say thank you to them all.

“Colin was also very fast so this once again shows how well our bike is working. Of course, this isn’t even the first race and now we have to wait until Qatar, but we’re definitely in good shape and I am excited about the season ahead.”

More in this section

Join us for a special evening of Cheltenham chat on Friday March 12 at 6.30pm with racing legend and Irish Examiner columnist Ruby Walsh, Irish Examiner racing correspondent Tommy Lyons, and former champion jockey and tv presenter Mick Fitzgerald, author of Better than Sex.

Sport
Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
Home Delivery
logo-ie

HOME DELIVERY SERVICE

Have the Irish Examiner delivered to your door. No delivery charge. Just pay the cover price.