The brand new Ilmor is unveiled
MotoGP's newest team Ilmor was officially launched today (Thursday 12th October) at a jam packed press conference in Estoril.
The team, headed up by Mario Illien in conjunction with chassis designer Eskil Sutor, unveiled the radical
looking X³ in front of the international media as Ilmor make their debut at the Portuguese leg of the World Championship.
Mario Illien, Owner, Ilmor:
“Over the years I have closely followed MotoGP, I had an interest in it and always tried to attend at least a couple of races every season – I was instantly fascinated by the sport and the technology the teams use, for me it was particularly interesting when the teams switched to four-stroke engines, so it's something I have always liked and I was looking for a way to participate. I would like to thank Carmelo Ezpeleta (CEO Dorna) for giving us this fantastic opportunity to come here with the X³, it's very early in the project programme for us and we are on a steep learning curve so please don't expect too much – we are here in Estoril this weekend to learn and most importantly prepare ourselves for next year to be as competitive as possible.”
Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO Dorna Sports:
“For us the presentation of Ilmor as a new MotoGP team is very important. I have been talking with Mario about this for years and I even visited the Ilmor facility in Northampton - I was so impressed by the quality and the technology they have there but I wasn't surprised given Ilmor's background in other motorsports.
It's a very important moment for MotoGP, Ilmor is a very prestigious engineering company to have taken the decision to come to MotoGP and we wish them all the best. Of course they have a lot of hard work ahead of them compared to the well established teams but given all of Ilmor's experience I think they will have a good chance next year to battle the other teams, to be in the middle or maybe even better than that. I wish them all the best.”
Eskil Sutor, Owner, CEO Sutor Racing Technology:
“It's a big task for us to participate here, first of all because the project is so new and we have had a relatively short development time so we are realistic about our results this weekend, I think we also should not forget that we are running on 800cc's against bikes with a capacity of a 1000cc's so it's all relative.
“We had some very good testing followed by some difficulties when we changed tyres, now we have the best Michelin tyres on for the best grip possible and obviously this has affected the bikes behaviour, so we had to start set up from scratch, this set us back a little. We are missing a few further test days to feel properly prepared for this MotoGP.”
Steve Miller, Managing Director Ilmor:
“There are a lot of people who have come from car racing into bikes and they haven't done too well – we have come here to learn and the combination of Mario and Eskil's experience gives us a very good starting point. Naturally, we haven't designed the bike engine anything like we would design a car engine and we're pretty confident that we have got some of the compromises right, as Mario said we are at the start of a very long road and it's going to be a steep learning curve. It's fantastic to be here, we've wanted to be here for so long so it's great to finally get here! We are the new boys on the block, so much media interest is very flattering but we're also a little in awe.”
Garry McCoy, Ilmor X³ Rider:
“I'm really happy that Ilmor has given me the opportunity to be here, they needed someone with a bit of experience and hopefully we can develop the bike together and put it where it needs to be. It's early days and we're just going to go out there and do the best we can, we will continue developing and testing to get it perfect. The bike is so different, there's really nothing else out there that compares to it.”