Record grid lines up for Australian Superbikes
at Phillip Island in 2018
Next weekend’s season opening round of the 2018 FIM Superbike World Championship at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit (Feb 23-25), run alongside ASBK is looking to be a massive event, with an inundation of entries for the Australian classes – particularly the YMI Australian Superbike and Supersport 300.
Entries for Australian superbikes have topped 50 – the biggest ever entry for superbikes in “computerised” history – including the name on everyone’s lips, the return to racing at age 48 of Aussie icon Troy Bayliss.
Supersport 300 has a healthy grid of 41, Supersport features 21 and the YMF R3 Cup boasts 25 starters delivering a bumper grid for the opening round of the Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship presented by Motul Pirelli (ASBK).
Fans are the winners with back-to-back racing and intense competition from the big grids across all three days. The schedule boasts 15 races, with 12 of the battles for the Australian classes, two races for world superbike on Saturday and Sunday and one world supersport showdown on Sunday.
With the YMI Superbike grid at full capacity for qualifying, the scene is set from the get go for a dog-fight against competitors and the clock to make the start grid of 40 riders for the three, 12 lap national races.
Fergus Cameron, Circuit Managing Director
“I’ve never seen such an incredible field for our Australian category and with 50 starters it will be a battle royale to make the top 40 for racing. The line-up is brilliant with young talent like Daniel Falzon, riders with vast international experience like Josh Waters, Bryan Staring and Alex Phillis, and of course the return of Troy Bayliss. Obviously everyone wants to race him and now they get their chance!”
There’s plenty of ‘chatter’ about the return to racing of the three-time WorldSBK champion, Bayliss, who’s coming out of retirement to compete in the national ASBK championship for the first time since 1997.
Bayliss started to show some form of old in a recent two-day test at Phillip Island, and he’ll have to continue on that same trajectory on his DesmoSport Ducati to keep pace with reigning Australian champion Josh Waters (Team Suzuki ECSTAR Australia).
Further competition comes from front-runners Wayne Maxwell (Yamaha Racing Team), Troy Herfoss (Penrite Honda), Daniel Falzon (Yamaha Racing Team), Bryan Staring (Kawasaki BCperformance), Glenn Allerton (NextGen Motorsports BMW) and Mike Jones (Allsite Concrete Cutting Kawasaki).
Waters is the deserving championship favourite after he came home with a wet sail in the last few rounds in 2017, with his GSX-R1000R producing an irresistible blend of pace and composure by season’s end.
Meanwhile, rookie Mark Chiodo will partner Waters at Team Suzuki ECSTAR Australia, and a clutch of fast privateers are also primed for title action: reigning Australian Supersport champion Ted Collins (NextGen Motorsports BMW), Mason Coote (AARK Suspension Kawasaki), Michael Blair (Yamaha Gosford), Alex Phillis (Suzuki), Matthew Walters (Swann Insurance Kawasaki), Aaron Morris (Yamaha) and Callum Spriggs (Kawasaki), while former junior speedway star and Moto3 rider Arthur Sissis (Suzuki) is a surprise round one entry.
2018 ASBK Superbike Entry List – Round 1
14 Glenn Allerton – NextGen Motorsports NSW BMW
3 David Barker – VIC Kawasaki
21 Troy Bayliss – Desmosport Ducati QLD Ducati
178 Michael Blair – Yamaha, Gosford Classic Car Museum NSW A Yamaha
83 Kyle Buckley – Kawasaki Bcperformance QLD A Kawasaki
30 Markus Chiodo – Team Suzuki Ecstart Australia VIC A Suzuki
27 Adam Christie – AGMT Suzuki, ECSTAR Oils SA A Suzuki
29 Ted Collins – VIC A BMW
53 Mason Coote – AARK Suspension and Tuning, Kubuto Helmets VIC A Kawasaki
66 Aaiden Coote – AARK Suspension and Tuning / Cykel Products VIC B Kawasaki
11 Philip Czaj – Eco light Up, 11Motosport VIC A Aprilia
686 Tracey Davies – Villa Verde free Range Eggs, Girl Rdier VIC C Ducati
Others fighting for glory in the 21-rider field will be Nic Liminton (Yamaha), Giuseppe Scarcella (BCPerformance Junior Team Kawasaki), Broc Pearson (Yamaha), returning veteran Brendan Clarke (Champion’s Rider Days Kawasaki), Luke Mitchell (Yamaha) and Max Croker (Mat Mladin Suzuki).
2018 ASBK Supersport Entry List – Round 1
12 Matt Barton – Blue Marlin Pools East, Dolphin Fencing VIC C Yamaha
61 Rhys Belling – LXI Racing VIC C Yamaha
84 Thomas Bryden – Sydney West Riders, YRD NSW A Yamaha
371 Scott Chapman – Zenith Motorcycle Tours, Zenith Removals NSW C Kawasaki
49 Brendan Clarke – Champion’s Ride Days Race Team QLD A Kawasaki
41 Max Croker – Mat Mladin, Suzuki Australia NSW Suzuki
23 Cru Halliday – Yamaha Factory Team NSW A Yamaha
25 Steve Haslam – Melling Mechanical NSW C Yamaha
46 Aidan Hayes – Cube Racing QLD B Kawasaki
22 Zackary Johnson – Bill Lambert BMW, NZI Helmets… VIC A Yamaha
27 Nic Liminton – SA B Yamaha
96 Luke Mitchell – NSW A Yamaha
39 Scott Nicholson – NextGen Motorsports VIC C Suzuki
42 Jack Passfield – NSW C Yamaha
14 Broc Pearson – QLD B Yamaha
20 Damon Stewart – Rees Carl Cox Motorsports, Tony Rees M/C, Honda NZ Honda
47 Giuseppe Scarcella – BCPerformance Junior Team NSW A Kawasaki
86 Dallas Skeer – Penrite Oils, Ron Angel Classic Racing SA C Suzuki
66 Hayden Spinks – Newcastles Cheapest Cars, West Sliders NSW A Kawasaki
52 Ryan Taylor – Arden Homes, RTR, YRD VIC A Yamaha
7 Tom Toparis – Cube Racing QLD C Kawasaki
The Supersport 300 class remains as popular as ever with 41 riders coming out to play, with race honours likely to be fought out between Oli Bayliss (Cube Racing Kawasaki), Seth Crump (Rock Oil KTM), Tom Bramich (Nolan Helmets Yamaha), Hunter Ford (YRD Yamaha), Ben Bramich (GowMoto KTM), Harry Khouri (Acid Racing Yamaha) and Jarred Brook (KTM Australia).
The Supersport 300 grid is dominated by Yamaha, KTM and Kawasaki.
2018 ASBK Supersport 300 Entry List – Round 1
72 Benjamin Baker – BCPerformance Junior Team NSW D Kawasaki
12 Austin Barnes – Enterprise Payroll VIC C Kawasaki
85 Ty Lynch – Adelaide Motorcycle Recovery, Neville Lush Racing B SA Yamaha
308 John Lytras – QLD Yamaha
666 Sarah Mcleod – D ACT Yamaha
19 Kate Muradian – YMF, Walden Miller Clothing SA Yamaha
10 Callum O’Brien – BANHAMS WA JNR WA Yamaha
22 Keegan Pickering – D NSW Yamaha
15 Bronson Joel – Pickett Steves Motorcycles, Pete’s Harley Services J WA Yamaha
28 Tayla Relph – North Star Yamaha, Earmold Australia B QLD Yamaha
70 Troy Ryan – Taree Motorcycles, Kenma Australia JNR NSW Yamaha
127 Max Stauffer – Chris Watsom M/C, YRD JNR NSW Yamaha
151 Locky Taylor – LTR Racing JNR QLD Yamaha
123 James Wensemius – Puma RV’s C NSW Yamaha
2018 ASBK Calendar
Round 1- WSBK, Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit VIC February 22 – 25
Round 2- Wakefield Park Raceway, Goulburn NSW March 16 – 18
Round 3- The Bend Motorsport Park, Tailem Bend, SA April 19 – 22
Round 4- Hidden Valley Raceway, Darwin NT June 28 – 1 July
Round 5- Morgan Park Raceway, Warwick QLD August 17 – 19
Round 6- Winton Motor Raceway, Benalla, VIC September 7 – 9
Round 7- Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, VIC October 12 – 14
WorldSBK and WorldSSP races
The 22-lap WorldSBK races will be run at 3:00pm on Saturday and Sunday respectively, with Maxwell, Falzon and Herfoss also competing alongside their domestic duties.
The 18-lap WorldSSP race will begin at 1:30pm on Sunday, with even more Aussies to cheer on: championship regulars Anthony West and Lachlan Epis, as well as local wildcard Toparis. All three will be Kawasaki mounted.
Ticketing and camping options
A three-day pass for WorldSBK at the island, purchased in advance, is just $120*. Add camping at the circuit campground for up to four nights, and you’ve the perfect location for a summer long weekend away with your mates or family. Go to www.worldsbk.com.au (link) or Ticketek for further information.
Feel like spoiling yourself? Opt for a Bar SBK pass at $260* and gain access to three undercover facilities, or go for a VIP option in the fully catered suites above pit lane.
And as always with World Superbikes kids 15 and under are FREE^, as is your bike.
Nothing beats World Superbikes… LIVE at the Island. Book your spot for the 2018 World Superbike season opener at Phillip Island, next weekend February 23-25, at Ticketek.
Advance ticket sales close Wednesday February 21 at 4pm. Buy early and save or get your tickets at the gate. For further information www.worldsbk.com.au (link) or the Superbike Hotline 1300 728 007
*All ticket prices quoted purchased in advance and subject to Ticketek processing fee. Book now and save on gate prices. ^Children 15 and under are free and must be accompanied by a paying adult
2018 Provisional WorldSBK Calendar
Australia – Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit – 23–25 February
Thailand – Chang International Circuit – 23–25 March
Spain – MotorLand Aragon – 13-15 April
The Netherlands – TT Circuit Assen – 20-22 April
Italy – Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari di Imola – 11-13 May
United Kingdom – Donington Park – 25-27 May
Czech Republic – Automotodrom Brno – 8-10 June
United States – Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca – 22-24 June
Italy – Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli – 6-8 July
Portugal – Autodromo Internacional do Algarve – 14-16 September
France – Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours – 28-30 September
Argentina – El Villicum* – 12-14 October (Subject to homologation)
Qatar – Losail International Circuit – 25-27 October
Official 2018 WorldSBK Tests
Australia – Phillip Island – WorldSBK & WorldSSP – 19-20 February
Portugal – Autodromo Internacional do Algarve – WorldSBK – 23-24 August
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