MCNews catches up with Aiden Wagner


The rider that had everyone’s tongues wagging with his strong performance over the two days of the recent test at Phillip Island was Aiden Wagner. The 25-year-old Queenslander makes a return to Australian domestic racing after three ill-fated years overseas and overcoming injuries sustained in the process.

ASBK Testing SB Phillip Island Rob Mott Aiden WAGNER Wheelie
Aiden Wagner at the recent ASBK Official Test – Image by Rob Mott

He looks like he means business, as in a very talented bunch he was second fastest, splitting the pair that came second and third in the title last year in Wayne Maxwell and Troy Bayliss, on an R1 that he claims has a completely standard engine – at the moment.

Before he head overseas, Aiden was a fierce competitor in the Supersports class with strong results in 2013 when he finished seventh in the class although he didn’t compete in the final round.

Aiden Wagner
Aiden Wagner at Imola in 2015

In 2014 he finished in the top three of the championship and did a Wild Card ride at the Australian Moto2 Grand Prix with the MarcVDS Team before he headed to the Supersport World Championship in 2015 with the CIA Landlords Insurance Honda Team, alongside Englishman Gino Rea. He finished 20th with best results of three 13th places and two 14th places.

Aiden Wagner - Image by Russell Colvin
Aiden Wagner at Phillip Island in 2016 with GRT Racing – Image by Russell Colvin

In 2016 he moved to the GRT Racing team on an exotic MV Agusta but maybe a bit too exotic as it was a season plagued with problems that yielded 26th overall for nine points.

His best result was a 10th at his home race at Phillip Island and things looked promising but from then on progress stalled with a 15th at Burinam and a 14th at Misano his only other points scoring races in what was a challenging season in the pit box.

For 2017 he signed again for the WSS, this time back on a Honda with the Gemar Team Morini. A 14th at Phillip Island was followed by an eighth place at the next round in Thailand.

Aiden Wagner - Image: Beegee Images
Aiden Wagner in 2017 – Image: Beegee Images

From the outside things looked to be on the up after finishing 17th at the next round at Aragon, but by round four at Assen in the Netherlands the relationship was all over and Wagner came home soon after.

Since his return to the Land Down Under he has been having some repairs to his body, which he described as ‘falling to bits’ following Europe.

With an extensive rehabilitation successfully behind him and a good team around him Wagner adds another spicy ingredient to an already mouth-watering combination of talent to fight out the championship.

MCNews.com.au caught up with him at the test.


Aiden Wagner Interview

MCNews: Are you surprised with what you’ve done with the last couple of days?

Aiden Wagner: Yea, I had pretty high hopes coming into it. A lot of people wrote me off after going overseas and the results overseas were not that great. But I always knew I had gained experience doing that, as bad as some of the bikes were. So I always knew we could be fairly strong, I knew we could probably go for the privateer cup, but I still wanted to maybe go for the championship and fight for podiums really. So it’s good to be right up the pointy end, not just above the privateers. We’ve got more left in the bike yet. It’s a fully standard motor, so we know we’ve got little bits and pieces to make up 10ths here and there.

ASBK Testing SB Phillip Island Rob Mott Aiden WAGNER
Aiden Wagner – Image by Rob Mott

MCNews: Has this refocused your ambition for the year?

Aiden Wagner: Definitely, I’ve had a couple of reconstructive surgeries and just sat at home. I started riding the motocross bike, and started impressing a few people on that, with lap times and what not, with what I was doing on the motocrosser. So I thought well, bike fit, body fit, might as well throw a leg back over and came together with Lambridge Transport, and thanks to mum and dad and everyone who helped me get back on the bike. I’ve got a few good people in my corner helping me. Adrian Monty is in my corner on the suspension, and with the guys in my corner we’re making leaps and bounds. So definitely focused back for the whole championship.

Aiden Wagner - Image by GeeBee
Aiden Wagner, pictured in Sepang 2016- Image by GeeBee

MCNews: So what happened in Europe?

Aiden Wagner: A lot of the time I was diagnosing problems for the main rider, and the issue with my bike, when a part would fail they would unbolt the part from the main rider’s bike and bolt it onto mine and he’d get the new part. So I tried to stick with it for as long as I could, but it just came to a head, where we just weren’t making any progress for a couple of seasons, just in the same sorta positions.

ASBK Testing SB Phillip Island Rob Mott Aiden WAGNER
Aiden Wagner #28 – Expect to see podiums from him, privateer or not…

Also my shoulder and knee were falling to bits, so we thought pull the pin, get those fixed. I’ve had a couple of little calls, but nothing promising. Especially with the depth of the ASBK paddock now, in the Superbike class there’s quite a few fast guys up the front, so racing back home is a lot more interesting and a lot more fun. So as long as we’re enjoying it on the bike, we’ll be strong and competitive for the whole season.

MCNews: So you’re happy with the weekend?

Aiden Wagner: Very happy with the weekend, I know we’re only going to go forwards. Races aren’t won in the one weekend, have to make it through the whole season and stick to the black stuff. But you know, from what we’ve shown already, we’ve put together a pretty strong package and got some good guys that are making the bike really ridable for me.

ASBK TBG FebTest PI Aiden Wagner TBG
Aiden Wagner – Image by TBG

The first round of the Australian Superbike Championship will be held alongside the opening round of the Superbike World Championship at Phillip Island 22-24 February.

Kawasaki Superbike – Phillip Island Test – Merged classification
  1. Wayne MAXWELL (VIC) Suzuki GSX-R EL R 1:32.312
  2. Aiden WAGNER (QLD) Yamaha YZF-R1 1:32.451
  3. Troy BAYLISS (QLD) Ducati Panigale FE 1:32.631
  4. Josh WATERS (VIC) Suzuki GSX-R EL R 1:32.676
  5. Daniel FALZON (SA) Yamaha YZF-R1 1:32.784
  6. Troy HERFOSS (QLD) Honda CBR RR SP 1:32.984
  7. Bryan STARING (WA) Kawasaki ZX10RR 1:33.181
  8. Cru HALLIDAY (NSW) Yamaha YZF-R1 1:33.211
  9. Glenn ALLERTON (NSW) BMW S RR 1:33.614
  10. Mike JONES (QLD) Kawasaki ZX10RR 1:33.786
  11. Mark CHIODO (VIC) Honda CBR RR SP 1:33.934
  12. Arthur SISSIS (SA) Suzuki GSXR RL7 1:34.018
  13. Max CROKER (NSW) Suzuki GSX-R 1:34.171
  14. Sloan FROST (VIC) Suzuki GSX-R 1:34.427
  15. Ted COLLINS (VIC) BMW S RR 1:34.494
  16. Alex PHILLIS (VIC) Suzuki GSXR 1:34.536
  17. Lachlan EPIS (NSW) Kawasaki ZX10RR 1:34.735
  18. Glenn SCOTT (NSW) Kawasaki ZX10RR 1:35.128
  19. Ryan YANKO (QLD) Ducati 1299 1:36.468
  20. Phil CZAJ (VIC) Aprilia RSV4 RFW 1:36.617
  21. Patrick LI (VIC) Yamaha YZF-R1 1:37.891
  22. Heath GRIFFIN (NSW) Suzuki GSX-R 1:39.054
  23. Murray CLARK (QLD) BMW S RR 1:39.123
  24. Scott TUDDENHAM (VIC) Suzuki GSX-R 1:39.467
  25. Will DAVIDSON (NSW) Yamaha YZF-R1 1:39.819

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