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Light at the end of the tunnel for Peter Clifford and WCM

Light at the end of the tunnel for Peter Clifford and WCM

Light at the end of the tunnel for Peter Clifford and WCM

We were thrilled with Monday's test of the revised WCM engine at Brno. It completed a total of 70 laps without problem, I have to admit that the lack of any kind of problem did surprise us, just the kind of surprise we needed. That doesn't mean that we will not find problems over the next few races but it certainly is a great basis to start on.

We saw this very much as a first run with the new engine and were not looking for any kind of lap time but it was good to see that David De Gea had no problems in getting into the low 4s (2'04.2) and he was confident that there was at least a second to come even with the bike exactly as it was, just with more track time as he 'converted' back from riding the two stroke.

Chris Burns was a little hampered by his still healing collarbone but he had a good day as well and ran some back to back tests with the older version of the WCM engine. They swapped bikes at the end of the day and agreed that the new engine is stronger through the rev range.

We have a whole batch of engines coming through now and it is an enormous relief to see that the engine runs OK because with the time pressure of having everything ready for the 'flyaway' races we could not wait and see what happened at the Brno test. If there was a fundamental problem we were in big trouble. As things stand now we will have engines for both riders at Portugal and the rest of the season.

The WCM engine with the cassette gearbox arrangement and four valve head could be developed into a really good MotoGP power plant. Of course we are behind the major factories and just what we do next season depends on a lot of factors but is going to be fun to see what happens in the next six races.

There will be more dyno testing before Estoril and we are hoping for a little more horsepower but of course there is a testing ban during this period so we will not be on track - fortunately we don't need to. We are in no way underestimating the challenge that still lies ahead, racing with the best machines in the world a huge task but until we got over this hurdle it wasn't even on the horizon.

MotoGP, 2003

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