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McWilliams marks 100th MotoGP at second ‘home' race but without points

McWilliams marks 100th MotoGP at second ‘home' race but without points

McWilliams marks 100th MotoGP at second ‘home' race but without points

Jeremy McWilliams reached a landmark 100th MotoGP start on Sunday at Sepang, sadly his result was not fitting with the landmark achievement.

At Proton's home GP the British-based team were hoping for a decent showing with their still new and teething V5 four-stroke machine but the humid conditions ended up being part of another test for the squad who are resiliently holding their patience as their wade through the deep and thick pool that is the refinement of a MotoGP motorcycle in a competitive environment.

Qualifying near the back of the grid McWilliams and Aoki crossed the finish line down in 17th and 18th but, as per usual, their races were not straightforward.

The 39 year old and last British rider to have won a Grand Prix (250cc Dutch TT in 2001), experienced gearbox problems while challenging for Championship points and eventually dropped back. Aoki also encountered mechanical gremlins, which meant that he was lucky to pass the chequered flag in 18th.

McWilliams was acute in his dissection of the GP: "I think we made that race more difficult for ourselves than it needed to be. My quick-shifter mechanism failed on the second lap. But for that, I was confident I could have got a couple of points. It's almost impossible to shift gears with this bike without the quick-shifter, there is so much spinning mass to slow down that it makes it very difficult. I was losing a second on every straight, missing gears and getting neutrals. It was very frustrating. The rear tyre also lost grip it was spinning the rear 50 km/h faster than the front. We chose too soft a compound."

Team Owner Kenny Roberts also revealed the frustration of trying to work with the new project in the midst of the three consecutive flyaway meetings: "We are another 100 metres down the road but really these three races are useless for us. We're developing the bikes, but there's no time to do anything. Even if we can make new parts, it's hard to get them to the track. We had new exhaust pipes here, but the brackets had a design fault and they broke, so we couldn't use them for the race. We're not racing. We're testing, so just finishing is a big plus."

MotoGP, 2003

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