August 05, 2014 | By IMS
McWilliams Returns For Repeat Bid at IMS
The bike doesn’t know how old the rider is. Jeremy McWilliams doesn’t appear to know how old he is either.
One might peg motorcycle racing to be a playground for the young, looking at the dominant storyline of this weekend’s Red Bull Indianapolis GP. Marc Marquez, the defending MotoGP World Champion and last year’s winner at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, returns to the iconic track in the midst of a perfect season – at age 21.
Esteve Rabat, last year’s winner in Moto2, arrives to defend at age 25. Alex Rins, the defending champion at IMS in Moto3, is now all of 18 years old.
Compare all of them with McWilliams, who won last year in one of two AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series races staged alongside MotoGP.
He’s back for more, and he’s 50.
The native of Belfast, Northern Ireland, competed in Grand Prix racing from 1993 to 2007, with two poles and two podiums in MotoGP and one win in 250cc racing in 2001. So paddock veterans know what he’s capable of, like last year’s win in which McWilliams won a four-way battle to the flag by just 0.039 of a second on his Harley-Davidson XR1200.
Given the chance to ride with him again, sponsor Harley-Davidson of Bloomington, Ind., didn’t hesitate to hire McWilliams as a wildcard entrant.
“Having Jeremy ride for Bloomington H-D in 2013 for the AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 races was such a pleasure and it’s great that our schedules have worked out so we can repeat this experience,” said Jeff Stevens, owner of Bloomington Harley-Davidson. “We came away with the win and that was amazing. To be able to race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and have McWilliams ride for us is truly a fantastic opportunity.”
The specially modified Harley-Davidson XR1200s will stage two 10-lap races around the reconfigured 16-turn, 2.591-mile IMS road course.
Here are a few more notable riders to watch this weekend:
Steve Rapp: Was one of the four battling for the win in Race 1 last year that was won by McWilliams, he finished fourth and then second in Race 2. The 42-year-old Californian is fifth in this year’s AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson standings with one win.
Danny Eslick: The 28-year-old Oklahoman leads the points standings with one win and three seconds in five races.
Tyler O’Hara: Second in points behind Eslick, the 27-year-old Californian finished second to McWilliams in Race 1 at IMS last year.
Shelina Moreda: Made history in 2011 as the first female to race a motorcycle at IMS; the 29-year-old Californian is 13th in points this season and looking for her first top-10 finish.
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