Bad weather and set-up issues complicated Jeremy McWilliams' return to grand prix competition, on the innovative Brough Superior, at Silverstone on Friday.

The 50-year-old Ulsterman, making a one-off appearance in Moto2, struggled with fuel map issues but was confident that his team had got to the bottom of the problem.

Speaking exclusively to the 2001 Dutch 250cc TT race winner, who finished the day 8.154s from the pace of title leader Esteve Rabat, said:

"We've got so many new things to learn on the bike and getting me comfortable is just one of them," said McWilliams. "We had a bit of an issue with the front end and getting me comfortable on the bike. Looking at the data we think that we know what it is so hopefully we'll make a step forward tomorrow.

"A test day would have sorted these out but we didn't have that so we had to use today as a test day and obviously we're on the back foot but we can't go backwards from here and can only go forwards!

"We'll see what happens tomorrow but we've got to be realistic and there's a clump of time between the middle group and where we are now so it's going to be an enormous task, so we've got to just try and put that out of our heads and move forward."

The biggest issue for McWilliams was an incorrect fuel map that robbed his bike of top speed:

"We've got an issue with the fuel maps at the moment, and this isn't making excuses, we're 20 km/h down on the fastest guys through the speed traps so that's showing even how important the fuel map is here. So if we can get that sorted we'll be at least able to trail them down the straights. It would be lovely to have a bike with similar speed once we get dialled in."

Given the steep learning curve facing the team, McWilliams admitted that keeping his bike on track and avoiding crashing is one of the main targets:

"The weather wasn't kind today and we lost a lot of time with the damp track and the track never really came back to us. It was greasy the whole session and we can't afford to put the bike in the gravel trap and give the lads an all-nighter.

"There's a lack of spares here so you've got to be mindful of making steps and getting it to the point of riding it as hard as possible without making mistakes."

Although 35th and last, McWilliams was within the 107% time.

"I'm happy that we're qualified with a brand new project at the world championship, so that's no mean feat, but we're always striving for better things and we need to go faster. We won't be happy until we find three seconds."