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McWilliams riding with broken rib

McWilliams riding with broken rib

McWilliams riding with broken rib

Jeremy McWiliams has revealed that he competed in Friday afternoon's first qualifying at Phillip Island with a broken rib, sustained in his crash during the morning practice. The Aprilia rider, who set pole here two years ago on the two-stroke Proton KR3, bravely qualified in sixteenth position despite heavy strapping on the left hand side of his stomach and painkillers.

"I was really enjoying the morning session and getting faster when I suddenly got flicked off," explained McWilliams, who has broken the same rib twice already this year – once in a pre-season test in Malaysia and again at Mugello in June.

"I just didn't have much rear grip in the wet and straight away I knew I'd done at least one rib again because I know what that pain is like.

"The wind isn't helping because you have to fight the bike so much, and with the rib problem that's not easy for me. The front wheel is coming off the ground in sixth gear on the home straight and that gets your attention!"

McWilliams' temporary team-mate Garry McCoy was just two places further adrift on the provisional grid after himself escaping injury at the end of the session. The Australian, roared on by a sizeable but windswept home crowd, walked away from his crash in between the high-speed Doohan Corner and the Southern Loop with just badly scuffed leathers.

"Well that's my first MotoGP crash of the year," joked McCoy, who is in the middle of a three-race deal with Aprilia to replace injured British rider Shane Byrne.

"I felt the rear let go but I'm not really sure what happened. The first qualifier I had was softer and I'll need to analyse what happened with my mechanics but I'm fine.

"The morning session was tough because it was the first time I'd ridden the bike in full wet conditions and it made it hard to find a set-up because I still don't know the bike 100 per cent. I'm sure I could have gone faster at the end but the crash cost me the chance."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2004, CINZANO AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX

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