With Proton Team KR still to confirm its rider line-up for 2004, Jeremy McWilliams - who has been linked with a move back to former employers Aprilia - has gone on record as saying he'd love to remain with the independent outfit next season.

McWilliams and team-mate Nobuatsu Aoki have endured a tough 2003 season as they firstly campaigned last year's two-strokes in the early rounds, then switched their attention to the massive task of trying to develop the team's newly born V5 four-stroke after its late introduction.

However, despite the disappointment of regular mechanical failures and a lack of horsepower, McWilliams proved the new machines potential by lapping Phillip Island faster than his 2002 pole record, then took an eleventh placed finish on race day.

"I hope this won't be my last race with this team," admitted McWilliams in the run-up to Sunday's season finale at Valencia. "I would dearly love to continue with this project. Some of the flyaway races showed a lot of promise for the future of the bike, and it's grabbed my attention again."

Aoki echoed his sentiments: "I can really see the progress, and I know the factory has made a very, very big effort. I expect more improvements for Valencia, so I am optimistic," said the Japanese. "I have been with this bike from the very first, so it is something special to me, and I hope I can continue with the development."

Team owner Kenny Roberts' son Kurtis, an AMA Superbike race winner with Honda, is rumoured to be in contention for a Proton KR race seat.



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