50-Year-Old Jeremy McWilliams To Race Brough Superior In Moto2 At Silverstone

Jeremy McWilliams is to make a return to Grand Prix racing at the ripe old age of 50. The Northern Irish racer is to ride the Brough Superior Moto2 machine at Silverstone as a wildcard.

It will be McWilliams' first Grand Prix since 2007, when he rode the ill-fated Ilmor, which was withdrawn after just one race due to a failure to raise sponsorship. Since then, McWilliams has been active in both the US and Ireland, racing in the XR1200 championship which serves as a support race to the AMA, and racing on the roads in Northern Ireland. Before leaving Grand Prix racing, McWilliams had a long career in both the 250cc and MotoGP classes. His most memorable rides were with the QUB TSR-Honda in 250s, aboard the Aprilia 500cc twin at the start of the century, and riding the Proton KR bike in MotoGP. McWilliams won the 250cc race at Assen in 2001 aboard the Aprilia.

The Brough Superior McWilliams is to ride has been discussed here before. The bike is a carbon monocoque frame and carbon fiber swingarm, and uses a wishbone front fork, not unlike the Telelever set up to be found on some BMW road bikes. The bike has been designed and built by Paul Taylor of TaylorMade Racing, and will be backed by British insurance firm Bennett's. The Brough Superior will be the second bike to feature an unconventional front suspension set up, the other being the Transfiormers bike being raced by Lucas Mahias in the Promoto Sport team. That bike features a Hossack-style Fior front end, ironically the other style of front end used on BMW road bikes, but marketed as a Duolever.

Jeremy McWilliams is to make a return to Grand Prix racing at the ripe old age of 50. The Northern Irish racer is to ride the Brough Superior Moto2 machine at Silverstone as a wildcard.It will be McWilliams' first Grand Prix since 2007, when he rode the ill-fated Ilmor, which was withdrawn after just one race due to a failure to raise sponsorship. Since then, McWilliams has been active in both the US and Ireland, racing in the XR1200 championship which serves as a support race to the AMA, and racing on the roads in Northern Ireland. Before leaving Grand Prix racing, McWilliams had a long career in both the 250cc and MotoGP classes. His most memorable rides were with the QUB TSR-Honda in 250s, aboard the Aprilia 500cc twin at the start of the century, and riding the Proton KR bike in MotoGP. McWilliams won the 250cc race at Assen in 2001 aboard the Aprilia.

Comments

Good on Jezza. Really

Good on Jezza. Really looking forward to this.

Total votes: 17

Good luck Jezza!

You crazy old git!

Total votes: 15

Do they have a 107% cut off

Do they have a 107% cut off in moto2? If so I hope he makes it...

Total votes: 15

If the time is outside 107%

If the time is outside 107% it will be the bike, not the rider.

I remember J McWilliams riding supermoto back in 2003 just for kicks, he could brake sooooo late it was't funny. Anybody getting sucked in to trying what he could do would wash out the front.

Total votes: 3

Moto2 suddenly got interesting again

Prescient thoughts on Moto2 the other day, Mr. Emmett. Just that weekend, I was thinking about how those races had been the sleepers so far this year. Maybe it's just that Moto3 and GP are so riveting this year; perhaps this year's Moto2 action is actually equal to any other year's. Still, I literally napped my way through all the Moto2 events at Brno.

Suddenly, though, I'm quite sure that won't happen during the Silver Stone race weekend. Brilliant way to recapture my attention. And wouldn't top-ten results make the world a more interesting place?

Total votes: 17

Brilliant… Just brilliant!

Brilliant… Just brilliant!

Total votes: 14

Right on!

This is great. Hopefully he can go out there and have fun and turn some heads. I had a similar feeling when I heard Kevin Schwantz was racing 8-hour last year. Should be great for the fans as well. I'm excited to see the bike on the track. Something different

Total votes: 9

What happened to Mossey?

Why did they replace an active supersport racer who's won a BSB race in Silverstone just this year with a 50-year-old? I was looking forward to seeing what this bike could do with a fast rider on board, to maybe sparkle interest on some unconventional chassis technology. Now I think they're going for a PR event with no real performance results. Hope McWilliams proves me wrong and causes a lot of people to rethink their chassis options. The bike will be the lightest, smallest frontal area bike on the grid, so, theoretically, it should be fast, at least on a straight line.

Total votes: 14

Rolling carbon

gathers no Mossey.

I wondered that - thought I had dreamt it or something! A bit of a shock, but then I thought about it and McW has been very competitive for a long time, and his winning on the HD at Indi showed he very much still has it. A good development rider who is unlikely to crash. Perhaps not such a bad idea, and he will probably do better in interviews etc. Bound to be lots of interest that will be good for Brough.....should guarantee an interview from his mates on BTSport at least.

Go Jezza (never thought I would say that to him or anyone else).

Total votes: 12

Jeremy Mcwilliams

I will give it to him. Even when he was young he looked like Father Time himself. But the man has grit. Would not be surprised if he pulls something out the box. Go Jezza!!!!

Total votes: 11

Can't Wait

I can't wait to watch this race!

Total votes: 6

The last man...

The last man to put a 500 on pole, Jezza deserves a bit a respect!
Hope he has a good race :-)

Total votes: 9

Double post!

Double post!

Total votes: 10

So they're putting a 50yr old

So they're putting a 50yr old on the Moto2 grid, and no one here is crying out that they should be giving a younger rider a chance? I'm baffled.

Total votes: 10

It's not that strange

Plenty of younger riders get their chance, and I don't foresee this coming to an end anytime soon. If the Brough proves to be reasonably competitive then Jeremy will no doubt make way for a rider more suited to a long-term racing program.

This is a fairly pragmatic decision by the Brough people, it's clearly a business decision as Jeremy is guaranteed to attract the sort of publicity that a one-off by an up-and-coming rider could never hope to achieve.

Total votes: 8

As the one

who posted the list of "deadwood," I'm not sure I'd classify it as "crying out." "Wondering why a promising kid would be denied a chance so a perennial backmarker could ride a proven MotoGP machine" would be more accurate.

As for McWilliams riding the Moto2 Brough Superior, man, there are so many differences in the situation, I wouldn't even know how to begin telling you why I'm looking forward to it so much.

I can only surmise you were joking. Surely you can see why it's not the same as putting Alex DeAngelis on a production Honda MotoGP bike. Of course you can.

Total votes: 1

You are too gentle with these guys

I think he's not joking. He's at least a troll and at most probably an idiot who gets outraged at anything in life and thinks he speaks for all of us including the author, David. Since this site became more popular I noticed an increase of users who contribute nothing. They need to be put in their place. If you argue gently with them they start to think they have a point and will polute the comments section in the future.

Total votes: 1

Jesus Christ

You said nothing with your comment. Who are they? Who is that young rider? Have you even read the entire article? What are you talking about?
It's a wildcard entry for both the rider and the bike.
And since when do you think all of us should be crying over here? You are way too much into sports dude. Im baffled you exist in this comunity.Get a life!

Total votes: 1

What should we expect

Moto2 has become a joke since Marquez left, now they've signed up the aged clown.

Moto2 was supposed to provide close racing - it hasn't for a couple of seasons. In days gawn past GP racing was a place to develop motorcycles. Moto2 engines are unchanged from the first day they raced.

Dorna and Honda should be ashamed of what they've done to the lightweight class.

Total votes: 27

Bloody shameful Norvin

I think it's bloody shameful for Norvin to be calling McWilliams an "...aged clown".
Who here would begrudge any racer for taking the opportunity presented to them ?

Total votes: 13

Light classes

Put the Moto3 also on the list what Honda and Dorna should be ashamed about.
They have totaly distroyed all these classes not only in GP racing but especially in the national championships. 4 stroke racing is so much more expensive then 2 stroke racing that here in the Netherlands we only have SS & SBK who can fight for the Dutch championship and even this classes are not as full with competitors as they were back in the old days :-(

Total votes: 1

And what's wrong with 50?

I've got more of a problem with Schwantz's token appearances in the 8 hrs than I have with this. I don't have a problem with either actually. McWilliams is one of those 'one of a kind' types; brought up tough and a trier. He's a talented racer and can show (and does) many young riders how to do it.
If anyone can get this bike into a top 10 he can. Age has very little to do with it - as I said above, if he can hustle a Harley around Indi to win against all-comers and match Moto3 lap times then the guy has something special.
The world and people are changing all the time. Don't be surprised or criticise people for their age, gender, or whether they are LGBT or whatever. It is ability we should be celebrating and the Brough and Jezza are just the sort of thing we should be happy about, not picking on issues that have little or no fundamental effect on performance. As said above , if the bike works, someone else will get a ride. If it doesn't there will (sadly)be plenty of people saying it was him.
I also doubt anyone would have the courage to call Jezza an aged clown to his face in a room, one on one - and if you don't have the cajones to do that you shouldn't say it here. Shame on you.

Total votes: 23

'Token 8 hour appearances???'

How is it token when, in his first year in the 8 hour he helped his team to a podium finish...?!?! He raced. Nothing token about it. This year he didn't even get a chance to race as his teammate had a bad crash prior to his leg. I'm sure we don't disagree. Hopefully he can pull results like Schwantz did and impress some people. I really do hope he draws attention to the bike.

Total votes: 6

Er...

I don't think Schwantz actually raced, either year, did he? He was only ever slated to do one 1 hour stint.

Not disparaging him or McW just saying.

Total votes: 3

WTF

I must agree with GuitarFrank... nothing 'token' about a Suzuka 6hr ride.

Look up Rossi's recollections regarding his efforts in the 6hr, you'll never dismiss another riders efforts in that race again...

Total votes: 3

Child abuse

Hope he delivers an old fashioned spanking.

Total votes: 9

Gonna have to watch Moto2

Gonna have to watch Moto2 practice this weekend.

David are you get any time from him? I would love to hear a GP journalist ask him about his experience in Under the Skin. And what is was like working with ScarJo. I thought he did well in the film. Some of the roads were pretty treacherous at that speed. Never thought I'd see an ex GP racer in a role like that nor the sound of the crossplane 4 wailing in a film.

Total votes: 3

Jeremy McWilliams as Laurence of Arabia

I REALLY want to see Jezza dressed as Laurence of Arabia for his press duties with the Brough. In my mind at least the man is synonymous with the marque.
Go on Jezza, I double dares ya !

Total votes: 4

Opportunity for Crutchlow

Go and look at his ride in BSB this weekend at BikeSportNews: http://www.bikesportnews.com/
Considering his profile and other details this was a brave thing to do and it epitomises the spirit talked about here.
Not quite MGP, or McWilliams, but.

Total votes: 3

You don't bounce so well when you're older,

so keep it shiny side up!

What a great story (it isn't a wind-up is it)? Go Jeremy!!

Total votes: 4

Not meant as criticism.

He was the only other 'old git' I could think of that was still doing top-level racing, so the context is quite important.
The fact that he has tended to spend 'only' an hour or two on the bike is what created the thought.
I am well aware that punching out consistent fast laps at the temperatures and humidity experienced at Suzuka is a big challenge to overcome, and doing that for an hour (even) is beyond a lot of younger people.

Which is why I also said I didn't have any issue with it. Like McWilliams, he justifies his presence just by being asked to be on the team. These people are serious.

Total votes: 3

awesome

I hope he boxes the ears of some of the whipper snappers. I think it's damn great to see someone of 50 living life that large ! Have a great Race, Jeremy.

Total votes: 3

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