McWilliams tries his 2002 KR3 for the first time

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Britain’s Jeremy McWilliams kicked off his 2002 MotoGP campaign in Jerez on Wednesday, getting his first chance to test Kenny Roberts’ Proton KR3.

The Ulsterman joined new team-mate Nobuatsu Aoki and Honda’s latest works NSR recruit Tetsuya Harada for the start of a three-day session.

No lap times were released from the first day although times would have hardly had been too startling, given the fact that conditions were far from ideal with the track surface coated in dust from the huge redevelopment programme going at the Spanish venue.

McWilliams told MCN late on Wednesday night: “It just feels good to be testing so early in the year after the problems of last season. It’s still a little bit too early to be pushing the bike.”

Riding the lightweight three-cylinder 500 for the first time was not only the alien thing for the 37-year-old who was also debuting Bridgestone tyres. He added it was too early to make any proper evaluation.

Like McWilliams, former works Suzuki rider Aoki was really impressed with the Proton’s chassis, while he has a slight edge over the Brit having been Bridgestone’s test rider during the whole of last year.

MCN Staff

By MCN Staff