jeremy-mcwilliams

what we miss … giant killers

Jeremy McWilliams, Roberts Proton KR, 2002 FIM MotoGP World Championship

Jezza was the last rider to put a 500cc two stroke machine on pole in a world championship Grand Prix, he did so at the flowing Philip Island circuit where he fought with his tiny 3 cilinder KR against the might of the factory four stroke machines
in an all out attempt at the end of  2nd qualifying on Saturday he crushed the opposition, setting a pole time 4 tenths of a second faster than the 2nd fastest rider, home favorite Garry McCoy, who was actually also riding a two stroke Yamaha YZR500
(Jezza was surely helped out by the fact that that season they were running on Bridgestone, that had a special program just for Team Roberts, were the year before they were running on Michelin, who focused on the big factory teams, Bridgestone was able to provide Roberts with excellent qualilfying rubber, that suited the Proton KR perfectly)

3rd qualified was Jezza’s team mate Nobuatsu Aoki, flanked by Jurgen van de Goorbergh on the Bridgestone Kanemoto-Honda NSR500, making it a complete two stroke front row
only the 5th fastest that weekend was on a (factory) four stroke, Alex Barros -who was in his prime in the last half of 2002, outracing even Valentino Rossi on many occasions
the race however saw the four strokes dominate, using their abundance of horsepower & grunt to kill off any stroker hopes of winning or even getting a podium, it was dutchman van de Goorbergh who finised as first stroker in 5th

family photo …

all riders lined up at the beginning of the season, 2002 Japanese MotoGP Grand Prix, Suzuka