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McWilliams confirms Qatar participation

McWilliams confirms Qatar participation

The entire 2007 MotoGP grid will be together on track for the first time tomorrow in Qatar, with the final piece of the jigsaw, Ilmor GP's Jeremy McWilliams, confirming his participation in the Official Test. McWilliams suffered multiple injuries after crashing out at last year's Jerez test back in November 2006, leaving him with a fractured left femur, suspected fractured collarbone and the loss of a fingertip. Since then, the veteran has worked hard to recover, experiencing frustration as he watched the rest of the teams test their new 800cc prototypes.

The entire 2007 MotoGP grid will be together on track for the first time tomorrow in Qatar, with the final piece of the jigsaw, Ilmor GP's Jeremy McWilliams, confirming his participation in the Official Test. McWilliams suffered multiple injuries after crashing out at last year's Jerez test back in November 2006, leaving him with a fractured left femur, suspected fractured collarbone and the loss of a fingertip. Since then, the veteran has worked hard to recover, experiencing frustration as he watched the rest of the teams test their new 800cc prototypes.

Following the Malaysian test last week, the team are very keen to continue developing the bike's set up ahead of the start of the season in Qatar in March. McWilliams' team-mate Andrew Pitt put in a sterling effort in Sepang, clocking up 70 laps in one day, but the team will certainly benefit from doubling their rider quota for the final preseason outings.

"I had some minor work to my damaged leg on Friday in Ireland, they fiddled around with the screws in my knee to make it easier for me to train and ride," said McWilliams. "I've made good progress in the past few weeks and I'm feeling really strong, I can't wait to get back on the bike. It's been so frustrating being out since November, I've been in constant contact with the team and Andrew but nothing compares to actually getting out there and putting the bike through its paces.

"I think we're all realistic and the biggest problem we have at the moment is a lack of track time, the start of the season will be upon us before we know it so every day counts. We made great progress in Jerez before the incident so I hope we can continue going forward and see a significant improvement in Qatar and Jerez."

Mario Illien, Ilmor GP Team Principal, paid tribute to his rider's work ethic, and looked forward to the week's proceedings. "I'm pleased and surprised at the speed of Jeremy's recovery, he's dedicated himself to getting fit again as quickly and safely as possible. Andrew has done a good job without him but it will be great to have both of them back out on the track.

"I know that the team were a little disappointed with the test in Sepang, everyone is working incredibly hard and sometimes you don't progress as fast as you would like but I believe in persistence and we are at the start of a long journey in terms of development, no one is expecting overnight miracles - slow, steady progress is our goal. I'm expecting good things from both riders in Qatar."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007

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