Riders have had their first taste today of the 4.445km Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit ahead of this weekend’s 24th running of the Australian Motorcycle News International Island Classic which officially gets underway tomorrow with two eight minute qualifying sessions.
Team UK’s ‘top dog’ Jeremy McWilliams openly admitted to bikesportnews.com that he and the team we’re not super confident straight away, as the Team Winfield machines haven’t been run for a while and Jeremy, himself hasn’t been on the Yamaha Harris F1 for a year now.
“There are always little teething problems that we need to get over,” explained McWilliams. “We have been radically changing things today such as suspension, spring rates and even ride heights to improve the bike from last year.”
At last year’s International Classic, the 52-year-old couldn’t get his bike hooked up through mid-turn, which was one reason why Australians Jed Metcher beat him in race three and four on the Sunday. Today, McWilliams again was still struggling with getting the bike to hook up which he and the team were working on to dial out the problem.
While McWilliams was working on ironing out his issues, he did say that the rest of the guys have been making big changes as well, as they get more familiar with the circuit – as they are getting a bit more out of the suspension.
“John [McGuinness] and Conor [Cummins] have made some progress and James [Hillier] is getting along ok,” said the former MotoGP star.
However, Island Classic debutant Peter Hickman had a troubled day at the office with some clutch issues, which has been one of the team’s problems in the past, meaning he lost a lot of track time.
McWilliams finished off by saying; “It will all work out tomorrow when you look at the lap times and see where we slot in. Were under no illusion that the Aussies have come up with a stronger team again and would dearly love to win the International Challenge crown back, which is going to keep us all on our toes.”