2020 International Island Classic Preview


Australia will take on America in the 2020 FIM Oceania Historic Road Race Cup over the Australia Day long weekend held on January 24-26, and for 2020 the Cup’s competition will focus on the International Challenge, with the top five performers from each country combining their points in a bid to win the crown.

Island Classic preview Img R Colvin Morris Metcher Hayes
The Island Classic returns in 2020 – Image by Russell Colvin

Both Australia and America are campaigning strong teams with decades of race experience between them, with America to boasts the likes of four-time AMA Superbike champion Josh Hayes, 13-times Canadian champion Jordan Szoke, the first female to ever contest the International Challenge Melissa Paris, plus Larry Pegram, Michael Gilbert and AMA front-runner Taylor Knapp.

The bike of choice for the majority of the Americans will again be the Mojo Yamaha based CMR FJ 1250 prepared by captain Dave Crussell and his crew, and three potent Yamaha TZ750’s.

Dave Crussell – American Team Captain

“We are excited to be part of the Oceania title for the first time this year and we’re expecting a tough fight. In 2020 we have our strongest core team ever to challenge the Aussies on their home turf. 2019 was a non-stop year for us, with bike improvements and supplementing the core of our riders. Our top 3 riders from 2019 are returning to the Classic in 2020 and we have added to this base. Big thanks to Larry Cook (LC Racing), Denis Curtis (CMR Racing) and Dunlop for their continued support of our team.”

Dave Crussell Captain and commander of Team American Image Russell Colvin
Dave Crussell – American Team Captain – Image by Russell Colvin

Australia though is not to be outdone with machinery prepared by Australian captain, Rex Wolfenden, and dominated by a raft of Suzuki Katanas and a XR60. There’s also an Irving Vincent in the fleet, a Honda Harris, and two Yamaha TZs.

The local team will benefit from home circuit advantage, with a field of ace riders who know Phillip Island intimately and between them have amassed several historic racing titles. The Aussie riders include Island Classic stars of recent years – Steve Martin, Dave Johnson, Jed Metcher and Shawn Giles – plus a roster boasting the speed and experience of 2019 pace-setter Aaron Morris, Cam Donald, Beau Beaton and Alex Phillis.

Rex Wolfenden – Australian Team Captain

“I am expecting a tight contest. The Americans have a very strong team. The Aussie boys are up for it, as always. They just want to win and get the FIM Oceania Cup back with us. Close hard racing is what the fans come to see and I am sure this title fight will produce just that.”

Australian Team Captain Rex Wolfenden with his machines to be raced this weekend by Michael Dibb and Paul Young
Australian Team Captain Rex Wolfenden back in 2015

The FIM Oceania title was launched in 2017, with Australia winning the first two years, but being knocked from their pedestal in 2019 when the format changed to non-International Challenge events and New Zealand took the prize.

In 2020, the Oceania title-fight returns to the original format as the majority of Americans travelling to Australia for the Classic are racing in the International Challenge.

The southern hemisphere’s largest historic meet, the International Island Classic, will be held this Australia Day weekend, January 24-26, at Phillip Island. Go to www.islandclassic.com.au for tickets and on-circuit camping, and get planning an action-packed and affordable Australia Day long weekend away with your mates.

Team USA with Phil Hall

Team Australia

Race Name Bike Cap
37 John Allen Yamaha TZ750 1978 750
31 Craig Ditchburn Yamaha TZ750 1978 750
76 Scott Webster Suzuki XR69 1982 1200
186 Beau Beaton Irving Vincent 1982 1300
86 Cameron Donald Irving Vincent 1982 1300
19 Shawn Giles Suzuki Katana 1992 1294
3 David Johnson Suzuki Katana 1982 1100
99 Steve Martin Suzuki Katana 1052
22 Jed Metcher Yamaha FJ1200 1984 1200
64 Aaron Morris Suzuki Katana 1980 1300
20 Alex Phillis Suzuki XR69 1980 1100

Team America

Race Name Bike Cap
17 Dave Crussell Yamaha TZ750 1978 748
136 Brian Filo Kawasaki Z1 1978 1260
55 Michael Gilbert Yamaha CMR FJ
219 Jorge Gurerro Suzuki CMRXR69 1982 1200
4 Josh Hayes Yamaha CMR FJ 1983 1250
44 Taylor Knapp Yamaha CMR FJ 1983 1250
178 Bruce Lind Yamaha TZ780B 1975 749
13 Melissa Paris Yamaha TZ750 1978 748
72 Larry Pegram Yamaha CMR FJ 1983 1250
32 Joe Pethoud Yamaha F1 Harris FJ100 1984 1250
62 Robert Ruwoldt Harris Kawasaki F1 1980 1260
101 Jordan Szoke Yamaha CMR FJ 1983 1250
Jordan Szoke Kawasakip

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