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 Carbon 2 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It will be McWilliams’ first Grand Prix since 2007, when he rode the ill-fated Ilmor, which was withdrawn after just one race due to a failure to raise sponsorship.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.

Taylormade Development Photos of the Brough Superior Carbon 2:

Source: Bennetts

This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.

  • KSW

    Legend, simple as that. This year we’ve seen Anstey (44) as the fastest man in the world on the “roads” podiums at the TT, Ulster and McWilliams on the podium at the NW200 and Indy. That’s an average between them of 47 years.

    WTF is all the hoopla about youth is the only option or all that matters? The heart and soul of these two is unmeasurable.

  • froryde

    Great to see McWilliams racing at the GP level again and also something different (bike wise) from the status quo. Good luck to both!!

  • tonifumi

    How does the engine cool on this thing?
    I predict a detonation at about half race distance.

    Awesome to see an older guy riding in world championship though !!

  • It’s actually a pretty clever design, with the radiator in the tail. Air gets sucked into the big air vent at the high-pressure region of the front fairing, and passed to the tail where it exits into the low-pressure region behind the bike. Basically, the bike’s own wake is sucking the air through, more air flow, and better overall aerodynamics.

    The MotoCzysz E1pc I rode has a similar setup, as do the Benelli Tornado 900 and other machines.

  • KSW


    Was Taylor Made brought in to provide a dimple surface and create backspin for that airflow or does the bodywork rebound off the tarmac instead of shatter? Wonder what the “Bounce Height” is? LOL

  • Steve

    There’s hope for me yet. :)

  • Air gets sucked into the big air vent at the high-pressure region of the front fairing, and passed to the tail where it exits into the low-pressure region behind the bike. Basically, the bike’s own wake is sucking the air through, more air flow, and better overall aerodynamics.

    It may make the bike harder to slipstream, too, as the nature of the turbulence behind the bike would be substantially different than a standard design.

    Glad to see that McWilliams will be on the grid again! Legend is right!

  • L2C

    Well, I can’t wait to see that race, that’s for sure!

  • JoeD

    I was fortunate enough to ride a Benelli Tornado 1130 for about 400 miles. In street trim, the cooling was more than adequate even in the SE US in the summer. With carefull packaging, the seat height was not severe, frontal area and drag were reduced and the balance was exceptional. I hope the Brough succeeds.

  • Grant Madden

    The Briton’s love child?Same carbon construction and air flow to radiator idea and PT is a Kiwi I think.Looks like it would be a stunning little thing to ride.Getting it sorted will be a bit of a mission but the results could be awesome!!

  • Eric

    The Britten V-1000 used a similar strategy for cooling :

    Way ahead of its time. It’s good to see different ideas finally start showing up in competition.

  • Funnyman6869

    This guy is my new hero! I was on The Finish line with his wife when he won that Harley Series Race!
    His can you not root for this guy? I just hope his bike doesn’t let him down!

  • chris

    as i commented previously, they will not race, they will attempt to qualify. which (unfortunately) they did not. just outside the 107%… and only managed 5 laps in final qualifying. usually in cases like this, they let them race anyway, but 9 seconds off the pace isn’t exactly safe with 33 other bikes on the grid…. and a real chance of getting lapped by the guy who qualified 26th isn’t exactly good press.

  • so … was ithe bike, or the rider ?? ;o|

  • “so … was ithe bike, or the rider ?? ;o|”

    I personally think it was the bike. Although McWilliams managed to find his way onto the floor twice during QP, I think it was a matter of him doing everything he possibly could to qualify a bike that was just not fast enough. The Brough Superior was clocked at 240 kph. Compare that to Syahrin’s Kalex at 266.7 kph and you can see that McWilliams was fighting a very tough battle. At the end of the day, he was 1.2 seconds outside the 107% time.

    What a shame. Good effort on the team’s part, though. I hope they continue to develop the project and wildcard again.

  • I just found out that McWilliams suffered a broken nose in the second crash, but has been declared fit to race.

    Did they get special dispensation?

  • Wow. Live timing shows McWilliams is out in morning WUP!

  • The Brough was declared within 107% rule because of the FP times. Well done!