London 04.12.06: Ending months of speculation following Ilmor’s launch in Estoril, Mike Janes was officially announced today as the Ilmor MotoGP team manager by team owner, Mario Illien. Selected for his talent and experience, Janes was a natural candidate having built himself a formidable reputation working within motorsport over the past 15 years.


Commenting on the appointment Illien said: “I’m delighted that Mike has joined the team, I think he has a wealth of experience to bring and I’m looking forward to seeing him in action. I know that there have been a lot of rumours surrounding this appointment and as a team, we did not want to rush in to making a quick decision that we might later live to regret – I’m a great believer in patience and timing – the team is my priority and I want to make sure that the internal infrastructure is a good as it possibly can be.” Janes has a predominantly Formula One background and his promotion from principal engineer at Cosworth encompassing names such as Williams, Jaguar then Red Bull Racing, to Ilmor team manager provides him, as with Illien the exciting challenge of making the move from success on four wheels to produce the same results on two.


Commenting on his new role Janes said: “During my 15 years in motorsport I have worked alongside some of the most prominent personalities in the industry – I have had my fair share of challenges both on and off the track and I can honestly say that I’m taking on this role with relish. I have admired Mario’s work for years and when the opportunity to work with him on such a bold and exciting project came up, I had no hesitation in accepting the challenge. “I want to make the most out of the remainder of the winter season and really prepare for what will be a very interesting world championship next year. As a sport I think MotoGP has a lot to offer motorsport fans and I’m really enjoying the prospect of applying my knowledge from a different motoring discipline to this equally fast paced world.”

Janes was thrown in at the deep end as he officially started working for Ilmor last week during the test in Jerez, however understandably, the announcement of his appointment was postponed due to Ilmor test rider Jeremy McWilliams’ crash on Thursday afternoon. McWilliams suffered a fracture to his left femur and had a suspected fracture to his collarbone. McWilliams had an operation over the weekend to pin the fracture in his leg and is expecting to be back at home by the end of this week.

Despite the incident, reports overall in terms of the bike were generally positive. Test riders McWilliams and Pitt were chosen not only for their talent but also reputable communication skills, both riders provided comprehensive feedback during the test enabling the team’s mechanics and designers to iron out earlier teething problems and push forward towards the holy grail of the perfect set-up for the 2007 season. The team are confident that the data accumulated has left them in a strong position to make necessary changes ahead of the next official test and with the latest addition of team manager Mike Janes on the scene the mood amid the team remains buoyant and determined looking towards a competitive start for the 2007 race season. It is anticipated that the 2007 Ilmor rider line-up will be announced later this week.


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