Following the success of the recent test in Almeria, where despite being hampered by bad weather the team made significant progress, Ilmor GP had high hopes for the test in Sepang where they joined the likes of Kawasaki and Yamaha out on the track. Whilst prioritising further work on the engine calibration over the test the team also undertook an important tyre test with new supplier Michelin.

Over the three days Andrew accumulated a total of 166 laps of the 5.54k Malaysian track. The test in Sepang has left the team with a huge amount of data to be analysed ahead of the test in Qatar and whilst everyone remains realistic, Ilmor GP are hopeful that further progress will be made at the Middle Eastern circuit. Andrew Pitt was alone once again in testing the Ilmor GP bike, although making a quick recovery team mate Jeremy McWilliams was unable to join him in Malaysia.

Following extensive physiotherapy and a rigorous training schedule Jeremy will be joining the team at the test in Qatar later this month. Andrew Pitt, Ilmor GP Rider: “The past few days haven’t been easy, we’ve all been working extremely long hours and we haven’t made as much progress as we hoped. I think everybody acknowledges the steep learning curve we are currently undertaking but it’s difficult not to get frustrated when everyone is working so hard. We are definitely moving forward and I’m hoping to have a couple of days to rest before Qatar, it will be good to share some of the testing with Jeremy out there.”

Mike Janes, Ilmor GP Team Manager: ”A big positive for us here in Sepang has been the tyre testing with Michelin. I’m pleased with the progress we’re making on that front, Michelin have been very helpful and we’re learning a lot about the tyres – our new working relationship with Michelin has started well and promises well for the future. We have tried out a few different tyre configurations and can now begin characterising the bikes sensitivity to the various tyres. “Although things aren’t progressing as fast as I would like, we have made one or two positive developments with the bike in other areas, having worked through some big changes to the set-up over the past three days. However, we’re all aware that we have a lot of work to do before the start of the season and Mario and I are realistic about what can be achieved in the time frame we have.


Nonetheless, everyone will be working flat out ahead of Qatar with the aim of maximising the opportunity of testing there just prior to the race. On another positive note, the team are working really well together, despite the long hours we have inflicting on them over the past three days!”


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