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16 years on and Niall McKenzie again finds himself fulfilling a vital role in the GP pitlane

16 years on and Niall McKenzie again finds himself fulfilling a vital role in the GP pitlane

16 years on and Niall McKenzie again finds himself fulfilling a vital role in the GP pitlane

Former GP hero and multi-British Superbike Champion Niall McKenzie is reacquainting himself with a World Championship paddock this weekend as he helps the WCM team get some valuable miles on their MotoGP prototype. With the surprise departure of Ralf Waldmann from the team this week McKenzie, who made his 500cc debut in 1986, is lining up with rookie English recruit Chris Burns for some much needed development work. Here is the Scotsman´s verdict after two days testing at the Circuit de Catalunya in the build-up the Winter test where every MotoGP squad will be present.

´I was here testing with the British Superbike Suzuki boys and Peter Clifford called me to ask if I´d do a few laps and give them some extra feedback,´ remarked the veteran.

´The bike is at an early stage but it feels as good as any top Superbike I´ve ridden. Of course there is still loads more to come and lots of weight to come off it so I would say it has good potential. Whether it can take on the might of the Japanese factories or Ducati… well that´s another question - it would be very difficult, put it this way.´

´In comparison to the other bikes out there, it is very comfortable mid-corner. It is a Grand Prix spec chassis and it does everything you want it to do - there is no problem there. The difference is getting off the corners and of course down the straights, the other bikes have so much power. This is a basic spec engine at the moment and it will need a lot more power if it is going to get close to the factory machines in those areas.´

Tags:
MotoGP, 2003

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