After more than a decade of ASBK competition, 29-year-old South Australian Daniel Falzon has made the decision to retire from national level motorcycle road racing.
Injuries he sustained at the end of season 2021 led to many surgeries, the latest of which had seen the two-time Australian Supersport Champion, and many time top Superbike privateer, make the decision not to race this season. But after a year away from the sport altogether, the full-time paramedic has now decided to call it quits to focus on a life after racing.
The family run JD Racing Team has been a staple of the Aussie Superbike paddock since Daniel made his debut in the 600 Superstock ranks back in 2011, a championship he won the following year before then lifting the Australian Supersport Championship in both 2013 and 2014.
Daniel then stepped up to Superbike in 2015, where he finished second to Mike Jones in what was at the time a severely depleted Australian Superbike Championship. Most of the top level competition at that time were competing in Terry O’Neill’s rival FX Series.
In the following years JD Racing and Falzon were the leading privateers in the Australian Superbike Championship, times when the series was back on top and racing against Australia’s best. Falzon notched up plenty of pole positions, race and round wins ahead of the bigger full-time teams.
At times Daniel even led the Australian Superbike Championship points standings. At the end of season 2017 Falzon finished up fourth overall, only 41-points behind championship winner Josh Waters.
He then joined the Yamaha Racing Team for seasons 2018 and 2019, but never really hit his stride under the Factory awning and returned to his family run, and Caterpiller backed, JD Racing Team the following year. Only for the Wuhan bat flu to then darken our shores and stunt Australian racing for a couple of years.
After qualifying on the front row for The Bend season finale in 2021, a big crash left him with plenty of hardware in his leg, the last of which was removed in June this year, 2023.
I have enjoyed some good times over the years socially with Daniel, his family, and faithful sidekick Liam Wilkinson. I will miss them from the ASBK paddock, but wish him and his family all the best for the future.
Falzon statement on retirement
“Today I stand at a crossroad in life. One year ago, we set a PB lap time at Phillip Island which had us qualify on the front row of ASBK, 1:31.596 – a lap time I’ll never forget. It never crossed my mind that it would be the last time I’d race around the Island. With this post, we announce, it’s time to hang up the boots.
“I don’t even know where to start. We knew time away from the sport in 2023 had to be taken to get a clearer picture of the future. In this time, we’ve realised the ability to give 100% commitment is no longer possible. The inherent risks of the sport demand peak physical and mental fitness to compete at national level. While my injuries in recent seasons have been a persistent challenge, they are not what’s brought about the decision. Any race team understands that the work extends beyond the track, it takes a monumental team effort and we’ve always said that if we can’t give it our all, we will give nothing.
“Motorcycle racing didn’t just change my life, it was my life. The sport has taken us on a remarkable journey where we’ve met so many people and formed many friendships. We have seen the very highs and the very lows of this sport, it’s been a rollercoaster nothing can prepare you for. As a family we knew little about racing in 2007 when Dad came home with a Honda CBR150. Starting as a hobby, the MRRDA series initiated my racing journey, which we competed in alongside the SA titles and then the Victorian championships, FX and of course the ASBK – Australian Superbikes Championship where our loyalty always stood.
“JD Racing was officially born somewhere early in that time and, reflecting on our journey, it’s astounding to see how much we’ve all grown and learned. Undoubtedly my paramedic career was spawned from my regular ambulance trips (sad but true!) and Jon also attributes racing as a major reason for pursuing a career in mechanical engineering. During the year off I dedicated myself to furthering my education and recently completed my postgraduate studies in critical care paramedicine.
“Every motorsport enthusiast knows, the sport is financially unreachable without having major sponsors. I was fortunate to be one of the early YRD team members receiving not only financial, but technical support.
“Gaining our long time partners, CAT dealers EPSA and William Adams, alongside Mainline Dyno early on really boosted the professionalism of the team and that resulted in others team partners coming on board which helped us to stay in the paddock for so many seasons.Whilst our sponsors have been consistent, so has our race team. Dad, Mum and Jon have always been there, with Liam joining shortly after. Tony joined our team and family for six of those years and Adam for two. We each had independent and differing roles throughout the seasons, but together we always formed a strong team. JD Racing will retire with five Australian Championships to our name, multiple lap records, international racing experience, the honour of completing the first ever motorcycle lap of The Bend Motorsport Park, and relationships and memories which will last a lifetime. I never aspired to be world champion. I wanted to be the best in Australia and I’m so proud of what we achieved together.
“In 2018 I achieved my young professional goal of signing with the Factory Yamaha Racing Team in ASBK. Through them I had the opportunity to wildcard race in World Superbikes, an amazing experience in itself. We also managed to win the Chinese Pan Delta Championship in the midst of it all!
“Influential people along the journey need a special mention, having spent my entire adult career on a Yamaha – John Redding, Ian Irving & Stewie Winton. Partnering sponsors who also became friends, Bruce Edwards, Phil Canning, Adam Elphinstone, Craig Mahoney, Chien-Wen Liew, the Ficeda and Monza imports teams. Those who chose to also help to fund the team, there are too many to mention, our sincere thanks to you.
“To friends in the paddock who have been supporters for years, Mark and Jackie Purnell, Bracksy, Steve Martin, Trev Hedge, Russel Colvin, Cathy Dow, Boris Mihailovic and the BikeMe crew to name a few. To family and friends who travelled with us and shared so many of these times, we love that you came along for the ride. Our pit garage was an open space, seeing our supporters year after year are memories for life.
“No value can be placed on the life experiences I’ve had and the influence it’s had on keeping our family as close as we are. Motorcycle racing gave me a reason to be focused from such a young age, I had a goal to achieve but never realised this perspective extended so much further than competition.
“I personally want to thank Dad, Mum, Jon, Liam and my grid girl for life Georgia. The dream was never possible without all of them.
“At 29 years old, it’s time to turn the page and begin the next chapter in life and retire the JD Racing Team. It’s been one heck of a ride.”
MCNEWS.COM.AU is a specialist on-line resource that provides motorcycle news for motorcyclists. MCNews covers all areas of interest for the motorcycling public including news, reviews and comprehensive racing coverage.