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McWilliams on the British boom in MotoGP

McWilliams on the British boom in MotoGP

McWilliams on the British boom in MotoGP

The arrival of the four-stroke era in MotoGP has seen an influx of top British talent into the series which has given the nation renewed hope of returning the Grand Prix glory days to the United Kingdom. World Superbike Champion Neil Hodgson and British Superbike Champion Shane Byrne have made the step up this season, joining veteran rider Jeremy McWilliams in the quest to become the first British rider to win a premier-class race since Barry Sheene.

Factory Aprilia rider McWilliams celebrated his fortieth birthday this year and, eleven years on from his debut in the 250cc class, admits that this is a key time for British riders to establish themselves in one of the fastest-growing sports in the world.

"I don't know what it is, but for sure there's a big interest in MotoGP in the UK - I think there's a big interest all over the world in MotoGP at the moment and it's certainly the best time to be involved in it," comments McWilliams, the last British rider to win in any class thanks to his victory at the 250cc Dutch TT in 2001.

"For me it's great because it's a push. When you get all the British riders around you, the first thing you want to do is beat all the other British riders. I think it's a good time to be here, I'm still very proud of the fact that I'm riding a factory bike at my age and hopefully I'll be here for another while yet.

"In the short term it's a matter of being competitive, it doesn't matter who's there or what's out there, you're always trying to do your best. I think Shane (Byrne) shows that more than anybody too, he pushes way beyond the limits in some cases and he does very well, he gets away with it.

"I'm just not as comfortable as him at the moment, and hopefully we're going to make that much better in the next couple of weeks because we got Le Mans coming up and then Mugello. We want to be right for Mugello because it's like a home GP for us."

To hear the rest of this exclusive interview, click on the video link at the top of the page.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2004, GRAND PRIX POLINI DE FRANCE

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