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 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 —- —-

 

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
Q1 Pre-War, 125 Post Classic & Forgotten Era, 250 15 min
Q2 250 Forgotten Era, 125 New Era & 350 Classic 15 min
Q3 500 Forgotten Era & Unlimited Post Classic 15 min
Q4 Unlimited Forgotten Era – Odds 15 min
Q5 Unlimited Forgotten Era – Evens 15 min
Q6 Sidecars 15 min
Q7 Shannon’s Insurance 500 Post Classic 15 min
Q8 Pablo’s Motorcycle Tyres New Era Formula 750 15 min
Q9 350 Forgotten Era & Unlimited Classic 15 min
Q10 Shannon’s Insurance 500 Classic & 350 Post Classic 15 min
Q11 MV Agusta International Challenge – Slowest 50% 8 min
Q12 MV Agusta International Challenge – Fastest 50% 8 min
Q13 250 New Era & 250 New Era Production 15 min
Q14 Pablo’s Motorcycle Tyres New Era Formula 1300 & Invitational P6 Open 15 min
Q15 500 New Era 15 min
E1* Pre-War, 125 Post Classic & Forgotten Era, 250  4 Laps
E2* 250 Forgotten Era, 125 New Era & 350 Classic 4 Laps
E3* 500 Forgotten Era & Unlimited Post Classic 4 Laps
E4* Unlimited Forgotten Era – Premier 4 Laps
E5* Unlimited Forgotten Era – Minor 4 Laps
E6* Sidecars 4 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 Classic 4 Laps
E8* Pablo’s Motorcycle Tyres New Era Formula 750 4 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 Classic 4 Laps
E10* Shannon’s Insurance 500 Classic & 350 Post Classic 4 Laps
E11* 250 New Era & 250 New Era Production 4 Laps
E12* Pablo’s Motorcycle Tyres New Era Formula 1300 & Invitational 4 Laps
E13* 500 New Era 4 Laps
E14* Pre-War, 125 Post Classic & Forgotten Era 250 5 Laps
E15* 250 Forgotten Era, 125 New Era & 350 Classic 5 Laps
E16* 500 Forgotten Era & Unlimited Post Classic 5 Laps
E17* Unlimited Forgotten Era – Premier 5 Laps
E18* Unlimited Forgotten Era – Minor 5 Laps
D1 Demonstration Lap 2 Laps
E19 MV Agusta International Challenge 6 Laps
E20* Sidecars 5 Laps
E21* Shannon’s Insurance 500 Post Classic 5 Laps
E22* Pablo’s Motorcycle Tyres New Era Formula 750 5 Laps
E23* 350 Forgotten Era & Unlimited Classic 5 Laps
E24* Shannon’s Insurance 500 Classic & 350 Post Classic 5 Laps
E25* 250 New Era & 250 New Era Production 5 Laps
E26* Pablo’s Motorcycle Tyres New Era Formula 1300 & Invitational P6 Open 5 Laps
E27* 500 New Era 5 Laps
D2 Demonstration Lap 2 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 Classic 4 Laps
E31* 500 Forgotten Era & Unlimited Post Classic 4 Laps
E32* Unlimited Forgotten Era – Premier 4 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 – Minor 4 Laps
E34* Sidecars 4 Laps
E35* Shannon’s Insurance 500 Post Classic 4 Laps
E36* Pablo’s Motorcycle Tyres New Era Formula 750 4 Laps
E37* 350 Forgotten Era & Unlimited Classic 4 Laps
E38* Shannon’s Insurance 500 Classic & 350 Post Classic 4 Laps
E39* 250 New Era & 250 New Era Production 4 Laps
E40* Pablo’s Motorcycle Tyres New Era Formula 1300 & Invitational P6 Open 4 Laps
E41* 500 New Era 4 Laps
D3 Demonstration 2 Laps
E42 MV Agusta International Challenge 6 Laps
E43* Pre-War, 125 Post Classic & Forgotten Era  250 5 Laps
E44* 250 Forgotten Era, 125 New Era & 350 Classic 5 Laps
E45* 500 Forgotten Era & Unlimited Post Classic 5 Laps
E46* Unlimited Forgotten Era – Premier 5 Laps
E47* Unlimited Forgotten Era – Minor 5 Laps
E48* Sidecars 5 Laps
E49* Shannon’s Insurance 500 Post Classic 5 Laps
E50* Pablo’s Motorcycle Tyres New Era Formula 750 5 Laps
E51* 350 Forgotten Era & Unlimited Classic 5 Laps
D4 Demonstration 2 Laps
E52 MV Agusta International Challenge 6 Laps
E53* Shannon’s Insurance 500 Classic & 350 Post Classic 5 Laps
E54* 250 New Era & 250 New Era Production 5 Laps
E55* Pablo’s Motorcycle Tyres New Era Formula 1300 & Invitational P6 Open 5 Laps
E56* 500 New Era 5 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.