Jeremy McWilliams insists that his return to the MotoGP world championship is far from certain, even though his name was included on the 'official' entry list issued by the sport's governing body last week.
The 41-year old was named as one of two riders at the WCM Bimota team, alongside little-known American Jason Perez, but McWilliams, the last British rider to win a grand prix, insists that he remains some way from tying up a deal.
"I'm very flattered to be named by the team, but whether I make a return remains to be seen," he explained, ""There are many loose ends to be tied up and I also have plenty of opportunities outside MotoGP this year which I've been pursuing.
"I find it amazing that people still talk about Jeremy McWilliams coming back, but I have some things going on in America and some testing lined up, so I have to sit down and decide what to do."
Having found himself out of options in MotoGP ahead of the 2005 season, McWilliams took up an offer to ride for the Stobart Honda team in the British Superbike series. Although that programme was subsequently ruined by a nagging shoulder injury, the Irishman did manage to make a one-off return to the top flight, when he subbed for the KR team at Brno. Seen as an underdog himself, he admits that Peter Clifford's plucky WCM operation deserves a break.
"Whatever happens, I think the WCM team really deserve some success and, if they can get the funding together, I think they will be competitive with the KTM engines," he said.
Ironically, former WCM pilot James Ellison has been rewarded for his perseverance on the team's under-powered 2005 machine, having been signed to ride a Yamaha for the experienced Tech 3 team.