International Challenge Race One

Island Classic 2018

By Trevor Hedge – Images by TBG

Jeremy McWilliams swept around the outside of the field at turn one as the first six-lap International Challenge race got underway at 1215 today under blue skies, and on a 46-degree track temperature at Phillip Island, as an early battle for the lead quickly developed with David Johnson.

David Johnson leads Jeremy McWilliams - Island Classic 2018 - International Challenge Race One - Image by TBG
David Johnson leads Jeremy McWilliams – Island Classic 2018 – International Challenge Race One – Image by TBG

Troy Corser quickly moved up to second place after starting from the fourth row of the grid, and immediately started battling with David Johnson as Jeremy McWilliams and Paul Byrne gave chase.

David Johnson leads Troy Corser - Island Classic 2018 - International Challenge Race One - Image by TBG
David Johnson leads Troy Corser – Island Classic 2018 – International Challenge Race One – Image by TBG

Cameron Donald then retired from the race at turn four. The Irving Vincent running too hot and developing a miss.

Jason Pridmore was the fastest man on lap two, a 1m37.294 moved him past Glen Richards and Michael Rutter to take sixth place.

Jeremy McWilliams then stole second place from Troy Corser, while Pridmore moved further forward, taking fifth place from Paul Byrne after putting in a 1m37.786. The fastest man on that third lap though was McWilliams, who was now climbing all over David Johnson.

David Johnson leads Troy Corser and Jeremy McWilliams - Island Classic 2018 - International Challenge Race One - Image by TBG
David Johnson leads Troy Corser and Jeremy McWilliams – Island Classic 2018 – International Challenge Race One – Image by TBG

Pridmore continued his charge forward, pushing past Corser for third place but the two men at the front of the field, McWilliams and Johnson, were two-seconds ahead of the American with two laps to go.

Jason Pridmore (USA) leads Glen Richards in 2018 Island Classic International Challenge Race One - Image by TBG
Jason Pridmore (USA) leads Glen Richards in 2018 Island Classic International Challenge Race One – Image by TBG

McWilliams and Johnson were swapping positions but the Northern Irishman stepped things up another notch as they got the last lap board to stretch away from the South Australian.

Glen Richards was now up to full steam, passing Corser and Byrne to move up to fourth place.

Jeremy McWilliams proved peerless and took the chequered flag for victory with a 1.5-second buffer over Johnson.

Jason Pridmore - Image by TBG Photography
Jason Pridmore – Image by TBG Photography

The battle for third place went down to a slipstream tussle to the line with Glen Richards managing to pip Pridmore off the podium. Still, a fantastic result from the American on his first visit to Phillip Island and the fastest lap of the race something to build on for the remainder of the event.

Paul Byrne took fifth place while Corser had to settle for sixth in the end ahead of Dan Linfoot, Jake Zemke and Peter Hickman while Steve Martin rounded out the top ten ahead of teammate Shawn Giles

Corser is on the T-Rex spare bike today after experiencing problems with their number one machine. As a result the two-time World Superbike Champion simply can’t match the speed of his more powerful rivals.

Troy Corser is down on speed compared to the competition - Image by TBG
Troy Corser is down on speed compared to the competition – Image by TBG

David Johnson reported that the air pressure in the rear tyre got way too hot in the heat of the battle and thus he had no grip in the latter half of the race.

Jason Pridmore has been learning the intricacies of the Phillip Island circuit very fast and after race one declared it, “Simply the best racetrack in the world.”

Glen Richards had the brake lever coming back to the bar in that bout which gave him a number of heart stopping moments.

Colin Edwards was having problems with false neutrals and the bike jumping out of gear, which his crew are trying to rectify ahead of this afternoon’s second race.

Island Classic 2018

International Challenge Race One Results

  1. McWilliams – UK
  2. Johnson – AUS +1.571
  3. Richards – UK +4.290
  4. Pridmore – USA +4.303
  5. Byrne – AUS +5.234
  6. Corser – AUS +6.037
  7. Linfoot – UK +10.508
  8. Zemke – USA +12.075
  9. Hickman – UK +13.117
  10. Martin – AUS +13.149
  11. Giles – AUS +13.184
  12. Beaton – AUS +14.027
  13. Edwards – USA +22.186
  14. Ditchburn – UK +25.329
  15. Long – USA +39.193
2018 Island Classic International Challenge Entry List

PHILLIP ISLAND – January 26-28, 2018

FIELD FOR MV AGUSTA INTERNATIONAL CHALLENGE

Australia Captain: Rex Wolfenden
No First Name Last Name Make & Model Year Cap
11 Troy Corser Honda Harris F1 1982 1150
99 Steve Martin Suzuki Katana 1294 1982 1294
19 Shawn Giles Suzuki Katana 1294 1982 1294
186 Beau Beaton Irving Vincent 1982 1300
86 Cam Donald Irving Vincent 1982 1300
52 Paul Byrne Mcintosh Suzuki 1982 1260
3 David Johnson Suzuki XR69 1982 1100
76 Scott Webster Suzuki Harris 1980 1200
39 Ken Watson Yamaha TZ31 1978 750
New Zealand Captain: Duncan Coutts
No First Name  Last Name Make & Model Year Cap
50 Glen Hindle Suzuki XR69 1982 1170
10 Damien Kavney Suzuki XR69 1982 1260
55 Trevor Taylor Yamaha TZ500H 1981 498
211 Simon Richards Suzuki CMR XR69 1982 1170
31 Kerry Wilton Yamaha TZ350F 1979 410
335 Duncan Coutts Yamaha CMR F1 1984 1251
27 Mat Ineson Suzuki GSX 1982 1135
25 Alistair Wilton Yamaha TZ750 1979 746
United Kingdom Captain: Keith Higgs/Roger Winfield
No First Name Last Name Make & Model Year Cap
99 Jeremy Mcwilliams Yamaha Harris F1 1984 1297
62 Peter Hickman Yamaha Harris F1 1984 1260
75 Glen Richards Yamaha Harris F1 1984 1250
13 Lee Johnston Yamaha Harris F1 1984 1250
4 Daniel Linfoot Honda Harris F1 1982 1150
14 Michael Rutter Yamaha Harris F1 1984 1297
77 Derek Brown Suzuki Harris F1 1980 1260
31 Craig Ditchburn Yamaha TZ750 1978 750
331 Micheal Neeves Suzuki Harris 1980 1100
United States Captain: Dave Crussell
No First Name Last Name Make & Model Year Cap
178 Bruce Lind Yamaha TZ750 1975 750
17 Dave Crussell Yamaha TZ750 1978 748
29 Barrett Long Yamaha TZ750 1979 750
195 Martin Morrison Suzuki RGB500 1982 500
45 Ed Haazer Kawasaki Z1000 1979 1200
62 Robert Ruwoldt Kawasaki Harris F1 1980 1200
5 Colin Edwards Suzuki XR69 1983 1200
43 Jason Pridmore Yamaha FJ-1200 1980 1200
98 Jake Zemke CMB FJ1300 —- —-

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