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Brit MotoGP squad vows to win championship

Ilmor, the new kid on the MotoGP block not asking for a lot

You may not have heard of Ilmor, but they're a British company and they're coming to MotoGP. This is a good thing.

Ilmor was founded by Mario Illien and Paul Morgan and up until 1994 it was an independent F1 engine manufacturer. They entered ChampCar in 1986 with Penske Racing and went on to win 86 races and five titles in the next seven years. Ilmor moved into Formula One in 1989 with Leyton House and two world titles since taking over the building of Mercedes' engines in 1993 - the 2004 McLaren Mercedes F1 car was powered by a 3.0L Ilmor V10 engine.

Mario Illien pictured on the left with his Ilmor 800cc

Unfortunately, Paul Morgan was killed in 2001, but Mario Illien is determined that his team will make the switch to bikes and win a MotoGP Championship, despite not yet signing a rider.

The team tested their V4 prototype machine at Silverstone last month. The bike is built to the new 800cc rules that will affect all teams for the up-and-coming 2007 season.

Many riders have been linked with the bike, including GP250 specialist, Jeremy McWilliams, the Slide King Garry McCoy, Max Neukirchner and we've even heard a rumour Max Biaggi may be a possible rider. Despite the indecision, team boss Ilien confirmed he would like the bike to make it's race debut at this year's Portuguese Grand Prix in just over a month. The bike could potentially surprise a few of the 990cc machines. Ilien said: "We've done it all, won races and championships, in Formula One and in ChampCar as well. Now it's time to try something new. We've won against some major manufacturers who are much bigger than us. Let's do it again." Illien reckons that his team can win the championship within three years.

McCoy could be back in MotoGP in '07

Fingers crossed the Ilmor team have more luck than the Harris WCM effort that never quite got going, then reported to be waiting for a Blata V6 before disappearing off the radar completely, leaving British rider James Ellison to make the switch to the Tech 3 Dunlop Yamaha.

Garry McCoy was seen testing the bike at Albacete and is our insider's top tip for the seat.

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