McWilliams and Haslam in line for Team Roberts

Published: 11 November 2001

British riders Jeremy McWilliams and Leon Haslam are the among the contenders to land a ride in Kenny Roberts' Banbury-based Proton GP squad next season.

McWilliams is a free agent following the late collapse of his works Aprilia 250 deal at the Rio GP earlier this month and he's been a target for Proton in the past.

If the Proton talks fail, McWilliams could find himself back on the works Aprilia 500 V-twin that he rode in 2000. Aprilia is looking to bring those bikes back because the factory is reportedly behind schedule on development of its three-cylinder four-stroke machine.

He said: "I've also asked Aprilia boss Jan Witteveen about a ride in WSB and he said he'd consider it. "

Haslam confirmed at the NEC Bike Show in Birmingham that he'd had some tentative talks with Roberts’ team to ride the KR3 500.

Also in contention are both Haruchika and Nobuatsu Aoki.

Team Roberts are considering switching from Michelin tyres to Bridgestone rubber. Aoki served as Bridgestone's development rider throughout the whole of this year so he would just have to learn the bike.

Other possible contenders include Aussie Anthony West and Johan Stigefelt.

Former World Superbike champion Troy Corser has held talks with the squad but it looks likely the Aussie is trying to fund his own works Aprilia effort in World Superbikes instead.