Proton Team KR riders Nobuatsu Aoki and Jeremy McWilliams finished ninth and tenth in yesterday's Pacific GP, after battling for the full race distance.

McWilliams led the pair for nine of the 24 laps, before he was slowed briefly by a gear-shifting glitch that gave Aoki the chance to reverse the order - but the Japanese had problems of his own.

"That was a pretty tough race, but thanks to the efforts of the team we managed to get a very satisfying result," smiled Aoki. "There were a couple of places on the track where it was better to over-rev rather than change to another gear, and I was concerned that the engine might not be able to take it."

The Japanese then revealed that he'd had another - much more unusual - problem: "The other (problem) was the frozen fuel tank. It wasn't uncomfortable, but it felt very strange - cold at the front, with the exhausts making the seat very hot."

Team Owner Kenny Roberts later revealed why the petrol tank was so cold: "It was pretty touch and go on fuel (consumption), so we froze it to get a bit more in. That seemed to work."

Meanwhile, Aoki's Team-mate McWilliams wasn't short of problems himself: "At first it felt as though the engine was a bit lean, and I was worried it might seize, so I took it a bit easy for a while. That seemed to clear up, but then I had some gear-shift problems ... the quick-shift stopped working for a lap or so. That was when Nobu came past me. Apart from that, my rear settings were a bit too soft, and it was hard to steer. Given all that, the result is pretty pleasing, and my collarbone injury from Rio was no problem at all."



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