Pitt had to retire
Following his crash at the end of the hour long qualifying session, Ilmor GP rider Jeremy McWilliams was left unable to participate in the first race of the 2007 MotoGP World Championship in Qatar.
During his fall from the bike the Northern Irishman
knocked his previously fractured left femur and irritated the muscle around the healing bone causing an extremely painful haematoma in his thigh.
His injury prevented him from taking part in the warm-up session in the morning and then subsequently the race – McWilliams attended the medical centre first thing this morning where he received pain relief treatment and was strongly advised against him competing. After deciding to sit-out the warm up session in favour of resting his leg further in the hope that he could later make it out on to the grid, McWilliams was in so much pain that he was forced to withdraw from the race.
McWilliams Australian team mate Andrew Pitt didn't fare much better either. Pitt had a disappointing race and had to stop before the end due to an as yet unidentified issue.
The team are now analysing the data accumulated from the warm up session and the race to try and figure out what went wrong. Pitt resumes testing duties tomorrow as the team stay a further day in Qatar – McWilliams understandably will not take part instead focusing on getting himself race fit in time for the second leg of the championship in Jerez, Spain in two weeks.
Andrew Pitt, Ilmor GP Rider (Not Classified):
I'm really disappointed with today. We did so well on Thursday, things were looking good but yesterday and today left a lot to be desired. I had a bad start and I was having problems with corner entry which really slowed me down – I decided that my best plan of action was to just maintain a steady speed and finish the race however the bike had other ideas.
I know that the team are working hard to solve the problems that we've experienced in the past few days – the test tomorrow will definitely help.”
Jeremy McWilliams, Ilmor GP Rider (Not Starting):
“I am totally gutted that I couldn't race today. We made great progress on the bike at the test in Jerez and here on Thursday then we were cruelly dealt a blow yesterday – we definitely didn't need that. I've been sat watching the race today and looking at our lap times from the past few days and we would have had a good chance of scoring points today - that's very frustrating for me. The decision not to race was really hard for me but when you have a medical professional telling you that you will do more harm than good if you race then you really don't have a choice – I had to look at the bigger picture and think about Jerez. After I spoke with the doctor, I took some time out, sat in a room and tried to see what I could do with my leg and it was then that I realised there was no way that I could race.”
Mario Illien, Ilmor GP Team Principal:
“I'm very disappointed. The team have worked so hard and we have made some positive changes to the bike – I was expecting better today after the pace we managed to achieve over the past couple of days but we were a couple of seconds down on our own time let alone anyone else's. We have to concentrate now on identifying the weak areas where we have gone adrift and making some serious improvements ahead of Jerez.”