Jeremy McWilliams will test the Aprilia RS Cube for the first time on Friday, when he'll join new team-mate - and fellow Brit - Shane Byrne at a two-day Valencia test session.

Last year, Ulsterman McWilliams rode for the Banbury-based Proton KR team, taking a best finish of sixth at Le Mans while riding the KR3 two-stroke, before spending the latter half of the year developing the new-born KR V5.

McWilliams initially planned to remain with the team for 2004, but the loss of Bridgestone tyres persuaded him to return to Aprilia - on Michelins - as he and BSB champion Byrne signed to replace former WSBK duo Colin Edwards and Noriyuki Haga.

The three-cylinder RS Cube took a best finish of sixth - in the hands of Edwards - at the season opening Japanese Grand Prix, before chatter problems began hampering the team's progress.

The last MotoGP test session at Valencia - attended by Honda, Ducati, Proton KR and Aprilia - finished on 12 December. As a benchmark, the leading times by each rider can be seen below.

Valencia test (12/12/2003) - leading overall times:

1. Max Biaggi ITA Camel Pramac Pons 1min 32.8secs
2. Troy Bayliss AUS Ducati Marlboro 1min 33.15secs
3. Sete Gibernau SPA Telefonica Movistar Honda 1min 33.2secs
4. Colin Edwards USA Telefonica Movistar Honda 1min 33.4secs
5. Loris Capirossi ITA Ducati Marlboro 1min 33.48secs
6. Makoto Tamada JPN Pramac Honda 1min 33.5secs
7. Ruben Xaus SPA D'Antin Ducati 1min 34.59secs
8. Kurtis Roberts USA Proton Team KR 1min 34.68secs
9. Neil Hodgson GBR D'Antin Ducati 1min 35.15secs
10. Shane Byrne GBR Aprilia 1min 35.3secs
11. Nobuatsu Aoki JPN Proton Team KR 1min 36.2

Comparative lap times - 2003 Valencia Grand Prix:

Pole Position: Valentino Rossi ITA Repsol Honda 1min 32.478secsFastest Lap: Valentino Rossi ITA Repsol Honda 1min 33.317secs



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