Rex Wolfenden predicts Gilesy and McWilliams to be one-two
Wolfenden says this is Englands best chance of winning – 
By Russell Colvin
Plus Full Island Classic Race Schedule and International Challenge Entry List

We are just only days away from the twenty-second running of the AMCN International Island Classic, which as always is shaping up to be a rip snorter of a weekend.

A whopping 526 bikes are entered,  a handy  increase on the 490 machines that raced in 2014. The event program has also grown from forty-four races to a busy fifty-six race event program.

To get an inside look on this weekend, who better else to ask than the Australian team captain, Rex Wolfenden. MCNews.com.au dropped by Wolfenden’s headquarters, T-Rex Racing in Heidelberg West, to get his view on the weekend ahead.

Wolfenden, who will run two bikes this weekend for both Michael Dibb and former BSB racer Paul Young said, “This is a huge weekend for sure! It is the biggest numbers and biggest event that Phillip Island has put on sure. It’s looking like it will be one of the best weekend by far.”

In terms of the Tahbilk International Challenge, Wolfenden believes England have got the strongest team that they have ever had for 2015. “England have got the best chance of winning that they have ever had this year. I would suspect that their bikes will be a little faster than they were last year.

“They have experimented with their Yamaha engines last year and had no trouble. I would suspect it will take them a little further along to gaining more speed.”

The big question is… Can Team Australia be victorious once again?

According to Wolfenden the Australian team is good, but maybe not as strong as it has been before. “Paul Young, who will be riding my Honda Harris, is a bit of an ‘unknown’. Paul has spent little time on the bike, I don’t know if he can do the job that Michael [Dibb] was doing.

Unfortunately the Australian team have lost Beau Beaton on the Vincent, who was my second highest point scorer for three years in a row.

So as I said England have got the best chance of winning this year.

However, don’t forget they score with only the first five riders from each country, so your first ten places will traditionally be England and Australia over the line the first time in the first ten places. It might come down to a shootout out of that ten, what percentage you can get your team up in the highest places to score more points, and I think England have got a big chance.”

MCNews.com.au also asked Wolfenden to give his opinion on the two new recruitments for the Australian team, 2011 FIM European Superstock 600 champion Jed Metcher and the 2012-2013-2014 Victorian Supersport champion, Ryan Taylor. Wolfenden said that Taylor is excellent, but the Yamaha TZ750 has to go the distance. “Even though Craig Ditchburn is at the helm, those bikes are very hard to get a full race meeting out of them. Ryan will be certainly up for the challenge; I have no doubt about that. Whether he is quite up to the podium position I am not too sure, but he will score good points.

In regards to Jed, he is an absolute gun! I’m not too sure that Jed’s Katana is quite fast enough. I know that they have used a new engine and Scott [Owen] is still working hard. I think Jed is a great inclusion into the team! But again I can’t base anything on last year with Ryan or Jed because they were not there, but I am hoping they will step up. Both Ryan and Jed are great inclusion for the team.”

We also put the sixty-year-old on the spot and asked him for his predictions on a top three finish for this weekend and this is what he thinks. “My top three pick, eliminating engine failures or crashes and you need a crystal ball. If everything goes reasonably smoothly, I still can’t see anyone doing better than Shawn [Giles] and Jeremy [McWilliams]. It’s simple, they are two clearly the best riders, the rest of the riders around them are excellent, however when push comes to shove, Shawn is hard to beat and McWilliams is on a mission.

You know, it takes a bit of luck as well. Bike failure, bike problems and you can go out of the points. They would certainly be my first two.

For my third rider to finish in third would be Glen Richards. With the right bike, Glen would be a chance and be a top scorer because he is fast enough and with his previous history and his age and everything he could do very well. However because he has not spent a lot of time on one of these bikes, so it’s a little bit unknown

The bloke you couldn’t count out as well is Brendan Roberts. He is just getting better. Really lovely bloke, he set the fastest lap last year, he will be there and his bike will be better and of course he will be better.

So I have to go down with that top four, it’s a bit hard with three, the top four that is where it will be. Although top two I would still go between Gilesy and McWilliams.”

Practice gets underway this Friday at 9am, check further down the page for the full schedule. 

Australian Team Captain Rex Wolfenden with his machines to be raced this weekend by Michael Dibb and Paul Young
Australian Team Captain Rex Wolfenden with his machines to be raced this weekend by Michael Dibb and Paul Young
Rex Wolfenden believes these two will be the major players up front, Shawn Giles and Jeremy McWilliams
Rex Wolfenden believes these two will be the major players up front, Shawn Giles and Jeremy McWilliams
Wolfended rates Brendan Roberts to finish in the top four
Wolfended rates Brendan Roberts to finish in the top four
Rex is not sure if Jed Metcher's Katana is quite fast enough but still expects a top five
Rex is not sure if Jed Metcher’s Katana is quite fast enough but still expects a top five
Ryan Taylor will be strong but will the TZ750 last the distance...?
Ryan Taylor will be strong but will the TZ750 last the distance…?
If the UK get the win this bloke will be out of control
If the UK get the win this bloke will be out of control

2015 Island Classic Schedule

Friday 23rd January 2015

Start 0900

Q1

Pre-War, 125 Post Classic & Forgotten Era,  250 Classic & Post Classic 14 min

Q1

350 Classic & 500 Forgotten Era 14 min

Q1

Unlimited Forgotten Era – Odds 14 min

Q1

Unlimited Forgotten Era  – Evens 14 min

Q1

Unlimited Classic 14 min

Q1

Unlimited Post Classic 14 min

Q1

Pablo’s Motorcycle Tyres New Era Formula 750 14 min

Q1

350 Forgotten Era 14 min

Q1

Pablo’s Motorcycle Tyres New Era Formula 1300 & Invitational P6 Open 14 min

Q1

500 Classic & 350 Post Classic 14 min

Q1

Tahbilk International Challenge 20 min

Q1

250 New Era &  250 New Era Production 14 min

Q1

250 Forgotten Era & 125 New Era 14 min

Q1

500 Post Classic & 500 New Era 14 min

Q2

Pre-War, 125 Post Classic & Forgotten Era,  250 Classic & Post Classic 14 min

Q2

350 Classic & 500 Forgotten Era 14 min

Q2

Unlimited Forgotten Era – Odds 14 min

Q2

Unlimited Forgotten Era  – Evens 14 min

Q2

Unlimited Classic 14 min

Q2

Unlimited Post Classic 14 min

Q2

Pablo’s Motorcycle Tyres New Era Formula 750 14 min

Q2

350 Forgotten Era 14 min

Q2

Pablo’s Motorcycle Tyres New Era Formula 1300 & Invitational P6 Open 14 min

Q2

500 Classic & 350 Post Classic 14 min

Q2

Tahbilk International Challenge 20 min

Q2

250 New Era &  250 New Era Production 14 min

Q2

250 Forgotten Era & 125 New Era 14 min

Q2

500 Post Classic & 500 New Era 14 min

Finish 1700

 

Saturday 24th January 2015
    Start 0900
E1* Pre-War, 125 Post Classic & Forgotten Era,  250 Classic & Post Classic 4 Laps
E2* 350 Classic & 500 Forgotten Era 4 Laps
E3* Unlimited Forgotten Era – Premier 4 Laps
E4* Unlimited Forgotten Era  – Minor 4 Laps
E5* Unlimited Classic 4 Laps
E6* Unlimited Post Classic 4 Laps
E7* Pablo’s Motorcycle Tyres New Era Formula 750 4 Laps
D1 Demonstration Laps 2 Laps
E8* Pablo’s Motorcycle Tyres New Era Formula 1300 & Invitational P6 Open 4 Laps
E9* 250 New Era &  250 New Era Production 4 Laps
E10* Tahbilk International Challenge 6 Laps
E11* 500 Classic & 350 Post Classic 4 Laps
E12* 350 Forgotten Era 4 Laps
E13* 250 Forgotten Era & 125 New Era 4 Laps
E14* 500 Post Classic & 500 New Era 4 Laps
E15* Pre-War, 125 Post Classic & Forgotten Era,  250 Classic & Post Classic 4 Laps
E16* 350 Classic & 500 Forgotten Era 4 Laps
E17* Unlimited Forgotten Era – Premier 4 Laps
E18* Unlimited Forgotten Era  – Minor 4 Laps
D2 Demonstration Laps 2 Laps
E19* Unlimited Classic 4 Laps
E20* Unlimited Post Classic 4 Laps
E21* Tahbilk International Challenge 6 Laps
E22* Pablo’s Motorcycle Tyres New Era Formula 750 4 Laps
E23* 250 New Era &  250 New Era Production 4 Laps
E24* Pablo’s Motorcycle Tyres New Era Formula 1300 & Invitational P6 Open 4 Laps
E25* 500 Classic & 350 Post Classic 4 Laps
E26* 350 Forgotten Era 4 Laps
E27* 250 Forgotten Era & 125 New Era 4 Laps
E28* 500 Post Classic & 500 New Era 4 Laps
Finish 1700
Sunday 25th January 2015
Start 0900
E29* Pre-War, 125 Post Classic & Forgotten Era,  250 Classic & Post Classic 4 Laps
E30* 350 Classic & 500 Forgotten Era 4 Laps
E31* Unlimited Forgotten Era – Premier 4 Laps
E32* Unlimited Forgotten Era  – Minor 4 Laps
E33* Unlimited Classic 4 Laps
E34* Unlimited Post Classic 4 Laps
E35* Pablo’s Motorcycle Tyres New Era Formula 750 4 Laps
D3 Demonstration Laps 2 Laps
E36* Pablo’s Motorcycle Tyres New Era Formula 1300 & Invitational P6 Open 4 Laps
E37* 250 New Era &  250 New Era Production 4 Laps
E38* Tahbilk International Challenge 6 Laps
E39* 500 Classic & 350 Post Classic 4 Laps
E40* 350 Forgotten Era 4 Laps
E41* 250 Forgotten Era & 125 New Era 4 Laps
E42* 500 Post Classic & 500 New Era 4 Laps
E43* Pre-War, 125 Post Classic & Forgotten Era,  250 Classic & Post Classic 4 Laps
E44* 350 Classic & 500 Forgotten Era 4 Laps
E45* Unlimited Forgotten Era – Premier 4 Laps
E46* Unlimited Forgotten Era  – Minor 4 Laps
D4 Demonstration Laps 2 Laps
E47* Unlimited Classic 4 Laps
E48* Unlimited Post Classic 4 Laps
E49* Tahbilk International Challenge 6 Laps
E50* Pablo’s Motorcycle Tyres New Era Formula 750 4 Laps
E51* 250 New Era &  250 New Era Production 4 Laps
E52* Pablo’s Motorcycle Tyres New Era Formula 1300 & Invitational P6 Open 4 Laps
E53* 500 Classic & 350 Post Classic 4 Laps
E54* 350 Forgotten Era 4 Laps
E55* 250 Forgotten Era & 125 New Era 4 Laps
E56* 500 Post Classic & 500 New Era 4 Laps
Finish 1700
* Points awarded toward the Phil Irving Perpetual trophy
Australia

No

Name

Make & Model

Year

Cap

19

Shawn Giles Suzuki Katana

1982-

1294

23

Laurie Fyffe Suzuki Harris

1980-

1166

24

Brendan Roberts Suzuki Katana

1982-

1294

32

Robbie Phillis Suzuki XR69

1982-

1240

36

John Pace Suzuki Katana

1982-

1100

52

Ryan Taylor Yamaha TZ750D

1978-

750

76

Scott Webster Moto-Martin Suzuki

1982-

1200

86

Cameron Donald Suzuki XR69

1981-

1260

91

Jed Metcher Suzuki Katana

1980-

1300

96

Paul Young Honda Harris F1

1982-

1100

99

Steve Martin Suzuki Katana

1982-

1294

124

Peter Mizzi Honda CB1100R

1982-

1100

Captain  Rex Wolfenden
New Zealand

No

Name

Make & Model

Year

Cap

10

Damien Kavney Suzuki XR69

1982-

1260

41

Terry Morris Nico Bakker TZ

1980-

350

50

Glenn Hindle Suzuki XR69

1982-

1170

76

Todd Sutherland Yamaha TZ350

1980-

350

94

Grant Dalton Suzuki XR69

1980-

1100

107

Roger Gunn Suzuki Katana

1980-

1300

111

Duncan Coutts Suzuki GSX1100

1982-

1100

133

Andrew McLaren McIntosh TZ350

1979-

350

133

Wayne Gow Moto Guzzi LeMans

1982-

1000

203

Vince Burrell Moto Guzzi Le Mans

1980-

1000

444

Mike Meskell Suzuki Katana

1980-

1260

949

Brad Phelan Yamaha RD

1976-

400

Captain  Kevin Grey and Stu Avant
United Kingdom

No

Name

Make & Model

Year

Cap

10

Conor Cummins Honda Harris F1

1982-

1150

17

Ryan Farquhar Yamaha Harris F1

1984-

1250

26

Keith Higgs Harris Magnum

1978-

1260

31

Craig Ditchburn Yamaha TZ750

1978-

750

33

Richard Peers-Jones Yamaha TZH

1980-

347

33

Jim Agombar Yamaha TZ

1979-

750

35

Clive Warner Yamaha TZ

1979-

750

75

Glen Richards Suzuki Harris F1

1982-

1277

77

Derek Brown Harris Kawasaki XR69

1982-

1170

77

John McGuinness Honda Harris F1

1982-

1150

99

Jeremy McWilliams Yamaha Harris F1

1984-

1297

121

Mike Edwards Suzuki Harris F1

1982-

1230

162

Rick Kwok Kawasaki P&M TTF1

1978-

1230

Captain  Keith Higgs
United States

No

Name

Make & Model

Year

Cap

7

Wade Boyd Kawasaki KZ1000 Classic

1980-

1000

16

Danial ‘Joe’ Weir Suzuki GS Katana

1982-

1260

45

Edwin Haazer Kawasaki Z1000 MKII

1979-

1200

66

Rob Mesa Yamaha TZ

1978-

750

117

David Crussell Yamaha TZ

1978-

748

135

Ralph Hudson Suzuki GSX1100

1982-

1177

136

Brian Filo Yamaha P & M

1978-

1260

888

James McKay Suzuki GSX 1260

1982-

1260

999

Anthony Bann Suzuki GS1000

1978-

1280

999

Jason Smith Suzuki GS1100

1982-

1100

Captain  David Crussell

Island Classic 2015 - Book your tickets now!

Island Classic 2015 – Book your tickets now!