International Challenge Race One

Island Classic 2018

By Trevor Hedge – Images by TBG

Jeremy McWilliams swept around the outside of the field at turn one as the first six-lap International Challenge race got underway at 1215 today under blue skies, and on a 46-degree track temperature at Phillip Island, as an early battle for the lead quickly developed with David Johnson.

David Johnson leads Jeremy McWilliams - Island Classic 2018 - International Challenge Race One - Image by TBG
David Johnson leads Jeremy McWilliams – Island Classic 2018 – International Challenge Race One – Image by TBG

Troy Corser quickly moved up to second place after starting from the fourth row of the grid, and immediately started battling with David Johnson as Jeremy McWilliams and Paul Byrne gave chase.

David Johnson leads Troy Corser - Island Classic 2018 - International Challenge Race One - Image by TBG
David Johnson leads Troy Corser – Island Classic 2018 – International Challenge Race One – Image by TBG

Cameron Donald then retired from the race at turn four. The Irving Vincent running too hot and developing a miss.

Jason Pridmore was the fastest man on lap two, a 1m37.294 moved him past Glen Richards and Michael Rutter to take sixth place.

Jeremy McWilliams then stole second place from Troy Corser, while Pridmore moved further forward, taking fifth place from Paul Byrne after putting in a 1m37.786. The fastest man on that third lap though was McWilliams, who was now climbing all over David Johnson.

David Johnson leads Troy Corser and Jeremy McWilliams - Island Classic 2018 - International Challenge Race One - Image by TBG
David Johnson leads Troy Corser and Jeremy McWilliams – Island Classic 2018 – International Challenge Race One – Image by TBG

Pridmore continued his charge forward, pushing past Corser for third place but the two men at the front of the field, McWilliams and Johnson, were two-seconds ahead of the American with two laps to go.

Jason Pridmore (USA) leads Glen Richards in 2018 Island Classic International Challenge Race One - Image by TBG
Jason Pridmore (USA) leads Glen Richards in 2018 Island Classic International Challenge Race One – Image by TBG

McWilliams and Johnson were swapping positions but the Northern Irishman stepped things up another notch as they got the last lap board to stretch away from the South Australian.

Glen Richards was now up to full steam, passing Corser and Byrne to move up to fourth place.

Jeremy McWilliams proved peerless and took the chequered flag for victory with a 1.5-second buffer over Johnson.

Jason Pridmore - Image by TBG Photography
Jason Pridmore – Image by TBG Photography

The battle for third place went down to a slipstream tussle to the line with Glen Richards managing to pip Pridmore off the podium. Still, a fantastic result from the American on his first visit to Phillip Island and the fastest lap of the race something to build on for the remainder of the event.

Paul Byrne took fifth place while Corser had to settle for sixth in the end ahead of Dan Linfoot, Jake Zemke and Peter Hickman while Steve Martin rounded out the top ten ahead of teammate Shawn Giles

Corser is on the T-Rex spare bike today after experiencing problems with their number one machine. As a result the two-time World Superbike Champion simply can’t match the speed of his more powerful rivals.

Troy Corser is down on speed compared to the competition - Image by TBG
Troy Corser is down on speed compared to the competition – Image by TBG

David Johnson reported that the air pressure in the rear tyre got way too hot in the heat of the battle and thus he had no grip in the latter half of the race.

Jason Pridmore has been learning the intricacies of the Phillip Island circuit very fast and after race one declared it, “Simply the best racetrack in the world.”

Glen Richards had the brake lever coming back to the bar in that bout which gave him a number of heart stopping moments.

Colin Edwards was having problems with false neutrals and the bike jumping out of gear, which his crew are trying to rectify ahead of this afternoon’s second race.

Island Classic 2018

International Challenge Race One Results

  1. McWilliams – UK
  2. Johnson – AUS +1.571
  3. Richards – UK +4.290
  4. Pridmore – USA +4.303
  5. Byrne – AUS +5.234
  6. Corser – AUS +6.037
  7. Linfoot – UK +10.508
  8. Zemke – USA +12.075
  9. Hickman – UK +13.117
  10. Martin – AUS +13.149
  11. Giles – AUS +13.184
  12. Beaton – AUS +14.027
  13. Edwards – USA +22.186
  14. Ditchburn – UK +25.329
  15. Long – USA +39.193
2018 Island Classic International Challenge Entry List

PHILLIP ISLAND – January 26-28, 2018

FIELD FOR MV AGUSTA INTERNATIONAL CHALLENGE

Australia Captain: Rex Wolfenden
No First Name Last Name Make & Model Year Cap
11 TroyCorserHonda Harris F119821150
99 SteveMartinSuzuki Katana 129419821294
19 ShawnGilesSuzuki Katana 129419821294
186 BeauBeatonIrving Vincent19821300
86 CamDonaldIrving Vincent19821300
52 PaulByrneMcintosh Suzuki19821260
3 DavidJohnsonSuzuki XR6919821100
76 ScottWebsterSuzuki Harris19801200
39 KenWatsonYamaha TZ311978750
New Zealand Captain: Duncan Coutts
No First Name  Last Name Make & Model Year Cap
50 GlenHindleSuzuki XR6919821170
10 DamienKavneySuzuki XR6919821260
55 TrevorTaylorYamaha TZ500H1981498
211 SimonRichardsSuzuki CMR XR6919821170
31 KerryWiltonYamaha TZ350F1979410
335 DuncanCouttsYamaha CMR F119841251
27 MatInesonSuzuki GSX19821135
25 AlistairWiltonYamaha TZ7501979746
United Kingdom Captain: Keith Higgs/Roger Winfield
No First Name Last Name Make & Model Year Cap
99 JeremyMcwilliamsYamaha Harris F119841297
62 PeterHickmanYamaha Harris F119841260
75 GlenRichardsYamaha Harris F119841250
13 LeeJohnstonYamaha Harris F119841250
4 DanielLinfootHonda Harris F119821150
14 MichaelRutterYamaha Harris F119841297
77 DerekBrownSuzuki Harris F119801260
31 CraigDitchburnYamaha TZ7501978750
331 MichealNeevesSuzuki Harris19801100
United States Captain: Dave Crussell
No First Name Last Name Make & Model Year Cap
178 BruceLindYamaha TZ7501975750
17 DaveCrussellYamaha TZ7501978748
29 BarrettLongYamaha TZ7501979750
195 MartinMorrisonSuzuki RGB5001982500
45 EdHaazerKawasaki Z100019791200
62 RobertRuwoldtKawasaki Harris F119801200
5 ColinEdwardsSuzuki XR6919831200
43 JasonPridmoreYamaha FJ-120019801200
98JakeZemkeCMB FJ1300—-—-

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