New to motogp.com?Register here

Tickets purchase
VideoPass purchase

WCM finish a GP on the new bike while still trying to turn around a difficult season

WCM finish a GP on the new bike while still trying to turn around a difficult season

WCM finish a GP on the new bike while still trying to turn around a difficult season

The Harris WCM team finally crossed the finish line last weekend using their four-stroke prototypes, 11 races after they hoped the project would hold its own in the MotoGP class.

2003 has been a slew of hard-work, uncertainty and frustration for the British based squad. Plagued with technical setbacks they were even forced to use ancient 500cc two-stroke machinery at Donington Park just to make up the numbers on the grid where they have been unfortunate regular absentees.

At Estoril David de Gea delivered the first ray of light in a trying campaign by qualifying 21st ahead of a Kawasaki and a Proton and then went on to complete the race distance in 22nd position.

Team-mate Chris Burns could not start the GP having crashed through no fault of his own during the warm-up. "I am sure my year has to turn around soon and it can't come quick enough," reflected one of only two British riders in the series. "It is such a shame what has happened with my bike this weekend. I crashed in warm-up because the mechanics seem to think that the head gasket blew and I just lost rear grip totally. The bike slid on its side for about 2 minutes and we elected not to run it until the mechanics could inspect it closely. We came to Portugal knowing it would be tight for parts and spares and I guess I felt the brunt of that limitation. It's good that David finished the race and for Rio, I know we will at least have one spare engine. All I can hope for is to finally finish a race this year, maybe that will happen in Rio."

De Gea was naturally more enthused about his weekend efforts. "It's very good to finish the race on the new 4 stroke, good for me and for the team," he said. "It's given us a chance to see how the engine is working and how the tyres perform. There is still some more horsepower to come from the WCM engine and I am told that we will have this for Brazil. I had some problem early on in the race with the braking, but I am happy to have finished and to be able to give my team some valuable feedback."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2003

Other updates you may be interested in ›