Ilmor hopeful for Valencia
After a consistent and surprisingly successful first outing in Estoril earlier this month, Mario Illien's MotoGP team are looking forward to taking to the race track once again this time in Valencia as the Spanish city plays host to the final round
of the 2006 MotoGP World Championship.
Having agreed to ride the brand new 800cc X³ as a wild card entry for the final two races of the season, Australian Garry McCoy put the bike through its paces during the penultimate round of the Championship. Not only did the seasoned pro put in a strong and steady performance against the larger capacity bikes, he brought the fledgling team their first World Championship point – making history in the process.
Following a day and a half of testing at the Portuguese circuit after the race, the Anglo Swiss team are now confident that this weekend's race should see a faster and more competitive X³ on track.
The race in Valencia will give MotoGP fans another chance to see the eye-catching machine out on track. Following the team's debut, the management were inundated with letters of support from followers of the sport pledging their support. All that remains to be seen this weekend is if Ilmor can repeat if not better their debut performance.
Garry McCoy, Ilmor X³ Rider: “Valencia is a new track for the bike so I'm looking forward to getting it out on the track and seeing how it runs. I think we'll have a few changes to make after the first practice session.”
Mario Illien, Owner, Ilmor: “We definitely benefited from the race weekend in Estoril and the subsequent testing time that followed.
We still have a lot of work to do but I believe that we're getting there. It's not a quick process and we're in it for the long haul. I'm looking forward to seeing what we can do in Valencia this weekend.”
Steve Miller, Managing Director Ilmor: “I think we're in better shape for Valencia – we have more consolidation on the engine front and despite being hampered by rain, I think we really benefited from the day and a half testing in Estoril after the race. I am expecting that we will be relatively slightly faster this weekend – the Valencia circuit might suit the X³ better as the main straight is shorter and we can be more nimble on the twistier track rather than relying on straight line speed.”