Valencia : Ilmor SRT - Race
Despite suffering from an ignition coil failure just over halfway through the race, Ilmor bagged their second consecutive point at the final round of the 2006 MotoGP World Championship.
Two weeks ago in Estoril the newly founded team made
history by scoring a championship point on the debut outing - in a repeat performance Australian rider Garry McCoy went on to gain the Wild Card team another one this weekend at the Spanish circuit.
A new MotoGP World Champion was crowned in front of a sell-out crowd Valencia as American rider Nicky Haden rode his Honda into third place giving himself just enough points to claim victory over previous reigning champion Italy's Valentino Rossi.
Sadly Rossi ended his season on a low point after crashing out during the early stages of the race, he very quickly rejoined the race and despite working his way furiously back up the grid it wasn't enough to maintain his title.
There's no rest for the wicked as the Ilmor team and chassis designers Suter Racing Technology get set to put the two Ilmor SRT X³ through their paces later this week at an official test in Valencia.
Most of the current MotoGP teams will test their new 800cc bikes in preparation for the engine capacity restriction for the 2007 World Championship. All eyes will be on Mario Illien's team to see how well they can perform on what should be a slightly more level playing field.
Garry McCoy, Ilmor X³ Rider:
“I had a good start then into turn two I really managed to put the pressure on Ellison.
I managed to overtake him but later on in the race he got me on a straight – after that I just tried to keep the pressure on him. Unfortunately we had a problem and I had to pit on lap 17, the guys couldn't see what the problem was immediately so I went back out and finished 15th like Estoril. It's a shame that we had the problem because I was really beginning to gain on Ellison again, I would like to see what would have happened.”
Mario Illien, Owner, Ilmor:
“I'm disappointed we had the failure but on the whole we didn't have a bad race, Garry rode consistently well and was gaining nicely on Ellison. It's frustrating but these things are bound to happen when you're in the development stage with a bike. We test here in Valencia later this week so the learning process will no doubt continue then. On behalf of the team, I would like to say congratulations to Nicky Hayden and Repsol Honda.”
Eskil Suter, Owner & CEO, Suter Racing Technology:
“Initially it looked like an exhaust problem but now we know that it was the ignition coil. Technical problems aside, I'm really pleased because we managed to be only two seconds off the front runner in terms of lap times - a clear sign that we have made a big step forward with the development of the bike this weekend.”