After a moral boosting performance at Estoril, when David de Gea unqualified a Kawasaki and Proton, the Harris WCM team were brought back down to earth at Rio yesterday in a troublesome 24 lap Grand Prix.

The main highlight of the team's South American adventure was that de Gea at least made the flag, in 19th and last, giving the team valuable data to develop their new machine further.

"I am happy to have finished the race and to give my team feedback on the engine and the tyres," he said. "I only completed two laps in the warm-up as we had some problems with the clutch and so we tried a different setting for the race, but it again the clutch was slipping. It was good to finish the race but I?d still like some more horsepower."

Things were even worse for Chris Burns, who retired with mechanical problems after eight laps.

"After warm-up this morning, there was some problems with gearbox, so the mechanics quickly stripped down the bike and put in a new gear box," he explained. "Immediately there were problems with the that and the mechanics couldn't find neutral on pit lane when I was ready to head to the grid. I missed the start of the race and joined the race 2 laps into it.

"The problems continued, the gears would not select properly, it all felt stiff and like the bike would lock up. So I pulled into the pits on the 16th lap," he added. "It was another disastrous weekend for me, but I look forward to Japan and to finishing a GP."

"Ultimately a frustrating weekend we did not take the steps forward from Portugal that we had hoped for, but all the things that cropped up here we can sort out and take two steps forward in Japan," summed up team manager Peter Clifford.



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