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Nov 29, 2002

Harris And WCM Team Up For MotoGP

From a press release issued by WCM:<BR><BR>New MotoGP Racing Machine <BR><BR>A piece of history has been created with the announcement of a new name in Moto GP.<BR><BR><img src="../issues/nov02/wcmharris.jpg"><BR><BR>Harris WCM <BR><BR>Harris Performance Products and World Championship Motorsport have formed a partnership to build a new Grand Prix racer. <BR><BR>Harris bring 25 years of rolling chassis experience to the project including the manufacture of the Harris Yamaha 500 GP machines that started in 1992. <BR><BR>WCM has also been running a GP team since 1992, from 1997 as the multi Grand Prix winning Red Bull Yamaha Team. <BR><BR>MotoGP 2003 features the most impressive line up of machinery and riders ever assembled on the starting grid. Honda, Ducati, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha and Aprilia are all represented for the first time by full factory backed teams. <BR><BR>The demands of competing in such illustrious company are not to be underestimated. It is not impossible as the equally independent Proton KR team were a thorn in the sides of the major factories in 2002. Both Harris and WCM know very well how tough racing at this level is. <BR><BR>The Hertford based company built Harris Yamahas for sale from 1992 when Yamaha made their YZR500 engine available. In 1996, '97 and '98 Harris ran the official factory Suzuki World Superbike Team. Harris were chosen by Sauber Petronas Engineering as chassis partner for their MotoGP project. <BR><BR>Having campaigned the factory YZR500 Yamahas from 1997 to 2002 WCM has a huge body of knowledge that they add to the Harris experience. The Yamaha factory clearly used the same YZR500 as a starting point for the M1 MotoGP machine. <BR><BR>As a starting point for the engine WCM will employ much modified R1 components. More than anything this is necessary to fit in with the time constraints. The engine cases and cylinder head will be WCM designed items in keeping with the FIM regulations for MotoGP. <BR><BR>In charge of the WCM engine project is Dave Hagen. The West Sussex based engineer is one of the most respected names in motorcycle four-stroke racing and has plotted a clear development path. Right from the start the pistons, valves, cams etc. will be purpose built items but by taking this route there is no doubt that power plants can be made ready for testing along with the chassis in February. From the start of testing 180 bhp will be available increasing to 200 bhp or beyond. <BR><BR>The development of the engine is open ended and could eventually see a new unit designed from the ground up. On the other hand there is also the strong possibility that the partnership with Harris may continue into 2004 using engines from one of the major manufacturers and raced by them in Moto GP. <BR><BR>Harris WCM is not the only machine in the championship produced by an independent team. Team Proton KR had their first bike on the track in 1997 but for 2003 they will have an all new five cylinder four stroke. <BR><BR>For the time being thoughts of similarly starting with a clean sheet of paper are distant and the efforts of both Harris and WCM are focussed on the realistic task of having motorcycles for two riders being tested in February. <BR><BR>Riders and title sponsor will be announced in due course.