Proton Team KR rider Jeremy McWilliams overcame bad luck and appalling conditions at yesterday's rain-lashed Portuguese GP, remounting after falling early in the 28-lap race, and picking up positions to get back into the top ten, finishing ninth.

It was a good result in the conditions, but a major disappointment to the Ulster rider after running fastest in the sodden morning warm-up.

"I got to the finish, but not the way I planned it," recalled the Ulsterman. "We took a bit of a gamble on harder suspension settings, in case the track got a bit dryer. Instead, it got wetter and wetter, and I was battling to stay in the leading group.

"The bike wasn't running right when I was slipstreaming them, probably because it was taking in water from their spray ... but I had to be in their draft. It was a very difficult situation," said McWilliams. "Then, with hardly any grip at all, I slipped off on the third lap. I was able to get going again and regain some positions, but it was a long way short of what I'd hoped for."

Team-mate Nobuatsu Aoki was out of luck from the start, after qualifying on the third row of the grid. His engine picked up a misfire, probably after ingesting some of the gallons of water that were flying around, and then seized early on as he was trying to make up for the deficit.

"My bike was misfiring from the start. It was as though one cylinder was cutting out intermittently. I was having to ride it very hard to make up for it, then on the third lap it seized. Nothing more to do, or say," commented Aoki.

Team Owner Kenny Roberts knows that, despite the superior handling, there's no shortcut for horsepower: "It could have all been a lot better. We're not there yet. We can do one or two laps well, but it's more difficult over the full race distance. The wet conditions favour us, but I don't view it as a lost opportunity. We're still giving away too much horsepower, and having to make it all up on corner speed. There's a limit to what you can get away with."