International Challenge Preview

Island Classic Race Schedule

Island Classic Entry List

Motorcycle legends from all parts of the globe have converged on the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit for the 2018 Australian Motorcycle News International Island Classic, one of the world’s largest historic bike meets to be held this Australia Day long weekend (January 26-28).

The 25th edition of the iconic historic motorcycle race meeting will not only see 15-time world champion Giacomo Agostini return to the event for the fourth time to wow spectators, but the showpiece MV Agusta International Challenge teams’ event will also feature multiple world superbike champions Troy Corser and Colin Edwards for the first time.

Corser, a former WorldSBK lap record holder at Phillip Island, will join the Aussie line-up on a Honda Harris F1 machine alongside long-time campaigners such as Steve Martin, Shawn Giles and Cam Donald, while 43-year-old Edwards will try his hand at the International Challenge on a Yamaha FJ1200-powered machine in an XR69-replica chassis.

And just to reinforce that it’s tired of being the International Challenge easy beat, Team America will also be strengthened by two other newcomers in former AMA stars Jason Pridmore and Jake Zemke, the latter a two-time top-three finisher in the national superbike title.

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 TroyCorserHonda Harris F119821150
99 SteveMartinSuzuki Katana 129419821294
19 ShawnGilesSuzuki Katana 129419821294
186 BeauBeatonIrving Vincent19821300
86 CamDonaldIrving Vincent19821300
52 PaulByrneMcintosh Suzuki19821260
3 DavidJohnsonSuzuki XR6919821100
76 ScottWebsterSuzuki Harris19801200
39 KenWatsonYamaha TZ311978750
New Zealand Captain: Duncan Coutts
No First Name Last Name Make & Model Year Cap
50 GlenHindleSuzuki XR6919821170
10 DamienKavneySuzuki XR6919821260
55 TrevorTaylorYamaha TZ500H1981498
211 SimonRichardsSuzuki CMR XR6919821170
31 KerryWiltonYamaha TZ350F1979410
335 DuncanCouttsYamaha CMR F119841251
27 MatInesonSuzuki GSX19821135
25 AlistairWiltonYamaha TZ7501979746
United Kingdom Captain: Keith Higgs/Roger Winfield
No First Name Last Name Make & Model Year Cap
99 JeremyMcwilliamsYamaha Harris F119841297
62 PeterHickmanYamaha Harris F119841260
75 GlenRichardsYamaha Harris F119841250
13 LeeJohnstonYamaha Harris F119841250
4 DanielLinfootHonda Harris F119821150
14 MichaelRutterYamaha Harris F119841297
77 DerekBrownSuzuki Harris F119801260
31 CraigDitchburnYamaha TZ7501978750
331 MichealNeevesSuzuki Harris19801100
United States Captain: Dave Crussell
No First Name Last Name Make & Model Year Cap
178 BruceLindYamaha TZ7501975750
17 DaveCrussellYamaha TZ7501978748
29 BarrettLongYamaha TZ7501979750
195 MartinMorrisonSuzuki RGB5001982500
45 EdHaazerKawasaki Z100019791200
62 RobertRuwoldtKawasaki Harris F119801200
5 ColinEdwardsSuzuki XR6919831200
43 JasonPridmoreYamaha FJ-120019801200
98JakeZemkeCMB FJ1300—-—-

 

For the laconic Edwards, the chance to compete on a layout which he says is the best in the grand prix world is something he couldn’t resist.

“Honestly, it sounded like a fun event and the timing was right,” said Edwards, who’s kept busy these days tending to his ‘Texas Tornado Boot Camp’.

Colin Edwards at Phillip Island in 2005
Colin Edwards at Phillip Island in 2005

“Phillip’s Island’s a pain in the ass to get to from the US, but well worth it. I feel we have a solid team, so I’m looking forward to seeing how it all turns out.

“It will also be great hanging out with some old friends and great fans – and I’m looking forward to riding with Troy (Corser) again.”

 

2018 AMCN INTERNATIONAL ISLAND CLASSIC
EVENT SCHEDULE D1
26th – 28th JANUARY 2018
SUBJECT TO CHANGE AT ANY TIME

 FRIDAY 26TH JANUARY 2018

9am Start
Q1Pre-War, 125 Post Classic & Forgotten Era, 25015 min
Q2250 Forgotten Era, 125 New Era & 350 Classic15 min
Q3500 Forgotten Era & Unlimited Post Classic15 min
Q4Unlimited Forgotten Era – Odds15 min
Q5Unlimited Forgotten Era – Evens15 min
Q6Sidecars15 min
Q7Shannon’s Insurance 500 Post Classic15 min
Q8Pablo’s Motorcycle Tyres New Era Formula 75015 min
Q9350 Forgotten Era & Unlimited Classic15 min
Q10Shannon’s Insurance 500 Classic & 350 Post Classic15 min
Q11MV Agusta International Challenge – Slowest 50% 8 min
Q12MV Agusta International Challenge – Fastest 50% 8 min
Q13250 New Era & 250 New Era Production15 min
Q14Pablo’s Motorcycle Tyres New Era Formula 1300 & Invitational P6 Open15 min
Q15500 New Era15 min
E1*Pre-War, 125 Post Classic & Forgotten Era, 250 4 Laps
E2*250 Forgotten Era, 125 New Era & 350 Classic4 Laps
E3*500 Forgotten Era & Unlimited Post Classic4 Laps
E4*Unlimited Forgotten Era – Premier4 Laps
E5*Unlimited Forgotten Era – Minor4 Laps
E6*Sidecars4 Laps
Q16 MV Agusta International Challenge – Slowest 50% 8 min
Q17 MV Agusta International Challenge – Fastest 50% 8 min
E7*Shannon’s Insurance 500 Post Classic4 Laps
E8*Pablo’s Motorcycle Tyres New Era Formula 7504 Laps

5pm Finish – * Points awarded toward the Phil Irving Perpetual trophy

 

2018 AMCN INTERNATIONAL ISLAND CLASSIC
EVENT SCHEDULE D1
26th – 28th JANUARY 2018
SUBJECT TO CHANGE AT ANY TIME
SATURDAY 27TH JANUARY 2018
9am Start
E9*350 Forgotten Era & Unlimited Classic4 Laps
E10*Shannon’s Insurance 500 Classic & 350 Post Classic4 Laps
E11*250 New Era & 250 New Era Production4 Laps
E12*Pablo’s Motorcycle Tyres New Era Formula 1300 & Invitational4 Laps
E13*500 New Era4 Laps
E14*Pre-War, 125 Post Classic & Forgotten Era 2505 Laps
E15*250 Forgotten Era, 125 New Era & 350 Classic5 Laps
E16*500 Forgotten Era & Unlimited Post Classic5 Laps
E17*Unlimited Forgotten Era – Premier5 Laps
E18*Unlimited Forgotten Era – Minor5 Laps
D1Demonstration Lap2 Laps
E19 MV Agusta International Challenge 6 Laps
E20*Sidecars5 Laps
E21*Shannon’s Insurance 500 Post Classic5 Laps
E22*Pablo’s Motorcycle Tyres New Era Formula 7505 Laps
E23*350 Forgotten Era & Unlimited Classic5 Laps
E24*Shannon’s Insurance 500 Classic & 350 Post Classic5 Laps
E25*250 New Era & 250 New Era Production5 Laps
E26*Pablo’s Motorcycle Tyres New Era Formula 1300 & Invitational P6 Open5 Laps
E27*500 New Era5 Laps
D2Demonstration Lap2 Laps
E28 MV Agusta International Challenge 6 Laps
E29*Pre-War, 125 Post Classic & Forgotten Era 250 4 Laps
E30*250 Forgotten Era, 125 New Era & 350 Classic4 Laps
E31*500 Forgotten Era & Unlimited Post Classic4 Laps
E32*Unlimited Forgotten Era – Premier4 Laps

5pm Finish – * Points awarded toward the Phil Irving Perpetual trophy

 

2018 AMCN INTERNATIONAL ISLAND CLASSIC
EVENT SCHEDULE D1
26th – 28th JANUARY 2018
SUBJECT TO CHANGE AT ANY TIME

SUNDAY 28TH JANUARY 2018

9am Start
E33*Unlimited Forgotten Era – Minor4 Laps
E34*Sidecars4 Laps
E35*Shannon’s Insurance 500 Post Classic4 Laps
E36*Pablo’s Motorcycle Tyres New Era Formula 7504 Laps
E37*350 Forgotten Era & Unlimited Classic4 Laps
E38*Shannon’s Insurance 500 Classic & 350 Post Classic4 Laps
E39*250 New Era & 250 New Era Production4 Laps
E40*Pablo’s Motorcycle Tyres New Era Formula 1300 & Invitational P6 Open4 Laps
E41*500 New Era4 Laps
D3Demonstration2 Laps
E42MV Agusta International Challenge 6 Laps
E43*Pre-War, 125 Post Classic & Forgotten Era  2505 Laps
E44*250 Forgotten Era, 125 New Era & 350 Classic5 Laps
E45*500 Forgotten Era & Unlimited Post Classic5 Laps
E46*Unlimited Forgotten Era – Premier5 Laps
E47*Unlimited Forgotten Era – Minor5 Laps
E48*Sidecars5 Laps
E49*Shannon’s Insurance 500 Post Classic5 Laps
E50*Pablo’s Motorcycle Tyres New Era Formula 7505 Laps
E51*350 Forgotten Era & Unlimited Classic5 Laps
D4Demonstration2 Laps
E52MV Agusta International Challenge 6 Laps
E53*Shannon’s Insurance 500 Classic & 350 Post Classic5 Laps
E54*250 New Era & 250 New Era Production5 Laps
E55*Pablo’s Motorcycle Tyres New Era Formula 1300 & Invitational P6 Open5 Laps
E56*500 New Era5 Laps

5pm Finish – * Points awarded toward the Phil Irving Perpetual trophy

Back in the Aussie garage, Corser’s making his International Challenge debut full of anticipation.

“My last race at Phillip Island was in 2011 in world superbike, so I’m a really looking forward to getting amongst it,” said the UK-based Corser, whose first port of call when returning to Australia was to catch up with family and friends in his home town of Wollongong.

“I am confident the Honda that Rex Wolfenden has prepared for me will be on the pace, and it will just be a matter of making some minor changes to get myself comfortable on it.

“There’s no doubt the racing will be tight, and the weather’s going to be quite hot so I’m banking on some of the Poms melting!”

Corser still pumps out plenty of miles on race tracks around the globe these days, whether competing in classic races at Goodwood or turning laps at his race academy schools.

“Last year I did about 20,000km on race tracks, so I am bike fit and ready to go.”

Troy Corser still spends plenty of time on the racetrack thus is bike fit and will be right on the pace
Troy Corser still spends plenty of time on the racetrack thus is bike fit and will be right on the pace

Defending champion not resting on its laurels

The additional firepower for the Aussies and Americans will be required if the United Kingdom, the three-time defending champion, is going to be knocked off its perch.

That’s going to be extremely tough, as not only can the UK count on another appearance by its spiritual leader Jeremy McWilliams, but the team has also welcomed three new fast faces in the form of Michael Rutter, Dan Linfoot and Lee Johnston while holding onto British superbike star Peter Hickman.

Peter Hickman chasing Shawn Giles in 2017
Peter Hickman chasing Shawn Giles in 2017

McWilliams, 53, is a freak. He has finished on the podium in 24 of 28 International Challenge races since 2011 and, remarkably, he has yet to blot his copybook with a DNF. He has also won the Ken Wootton Perpetual Trophy, awarded to the highest individual point-scorer in the International Challenge, four times.

In the 2017 International Challenge, five of the UK riders finished inside the top 10 of the individual standings. As a result, the UK retained the coveted trophy ahead of Australia, Ireland, America and New Zealand.

“Team USA and Australia have realised that coming second or third isn’t much fun and wheeled in the big guns for 2018,” said McWilliams.

“Team UK have had it all our own way lately, winning the team and individual honours for the last three years, and hopefully with our new rider line-up we will be aiming to continue this winning streak.

“I still get butterflies before the Island Classic – but especially 2018 mainly because I haven’t been training or actually riding much this year and the International Challenge requires a big effort.”

Jeremy McWilliams enjoying the beach at Phillip Island ahead of this weekend's intense competition
Jeremy McWilliams enjoying the beach at Phillip Island ahead of this weekend’s intense competition

KIWIS RETURN

New Zealand will complete in the International Challenge line-up – as it has since the event was inaugurated in 2005. In 2018, the New Zealanders have Island Classic stalwart Damien Kavney in his 13th appearance at the classic, as well as multiple Australian historic champion Glenn Hindle, Simon Richards, Duncan Coutts, Trevor Taylor, Kerry Wilton, Alistair Wilton and Mat Ineson.

Damien Kavney - Island Classic 2015 - Image by Russell Colvin
Damien Kavney – Island Classic 2015 – Image by Russell Colvin

FOR THE LOVE OF BIKES

While the International Challenge is the headline act, the Island Classic boasts more than 500 bikes, 300 riders and 56 races for bikes from pre-WW1 bikes (Veteran) through to Vintage (1920-1945), Classic (1946-1962), Post Classic (1963-1972), Forgotten Era (1973-1982) and New Era (1983-1999). It’s a massive celebration of motorcycle history.


GIACOMO AGOSTINI, WORLD’S GREATEST GP RIDER RETURNS TO ISLAND

Seventy-five-year-old Giacomo Agostini will also be joined Down Under by a quartet of Milan-domiciled world championship-winning four-stroke MV Agustas, which will take to the 4.45km grand prix circuit for parade laps on Saturday and Sunday. Two of those MVs will be the ones that brought ‘Ago’ championship success: the three-cylinder 500, which he won the 500cc title on from 1966-1972, and the four-cylinder 350 which saw him beat all-comers on in 1972 and 1973.

Giacomo Agostini in Melbourne for 2018 Island CLassic- Images by Russ Colvin
Giacomo Agostini in Melbourne for 2018 Island Classic- Images by Russ Colvin

GATE sales open at 8am Friday, Saturday and Sunday with a three-day adult pass $95 at gate, with the add on option of four nights on-circuit camping available ($190 for adult entry and four nights of camping). Children 15 and under free. Back to back racing from 9am-5pm over all three days.