2020 Island Classic International Challenge

Australia lead after day one but things are tight at the top

By Trevor Hedge – Images by Rob Mott


Phillip Island turned on magnificent weather here today for the opening day of International Challenge competition.

The first of today’s two lap races saw Team America shrug off some of their mechanical gremlins and rise to the fore.

Saturday though saw problems for Craig Ditchburn whose TZ750 cried enough on the opening lap at turn two. That failure resulted in Michael Neeves, Scott Webster, Brendan Wilson and John Allen all ending up on the deck in the melee.

IIC Phillip Island RbMotoLens IC R J Allen S Webster
There was carnage in race one

While there was some significant machine damage the riders somehow got away with all their bits still working. 

IIC Phillip Island RbMotoLens IC R First Start
Island Classic International Challenge

Officials brought out the red flag and after a delay riders were again under starters orders for a full six-lap re-start.

IIC Phillip Island RbMotoLens IC R Restart jed Leads
Island Classic International Challenge

The pace was very hot amongst the leading trio in the opening stanza with Alex Phillis recording the fastest lap of the race on the final lap, but it was not enough to prevent Josh Hayes from taking the win by a tenth of a second over Phillis. Metcher only another bike length behind in third after what had been a great contest. 

IIC Phillip Island RbMotoLens IC R Restart jed Leads
Island Classic International Challenge – Race One

Larry Pegram got the better of Steve Martin for fourth place while David Johnson scored a sixth place finish on the Carl Cox backed Katana.

The fastest top speeds were recorded by the fast but fickle CMR FJ Yamaha’s of Team America with Michael Gilbert topping the speed charts at 280 km/h.

Clearly it was game on for International Challenge honours with Team America having a great start in the event and 44-year-old Josh Hayes showing his fine pedigree had not lost much of its shine. The wily four-time AMA Superbike Champion also showed his race-craft had not deserted him as he managed to edge out both Phillis and Metcher for victory in the final stages of the race.

Riders gridded up for the second and final six-lap bout of the day just after 1400 on Saturday afternoon. The weather was glorious with blue skies and ambient temperatures in the mid 20s and track temperature hovering around 45-degrees. Perfect. 

IIC Phillip Island RbMotoLens IC R Start Jed Metcher Leads
Island Classic International Challenge – Race Two

Jed Metcher scored the holeshot ahead of Alex Phillis and David Johnson and that Aussie triumvirate were being closely pursued throughout the opening lap by American’s Josh Hayes, Michael Gilbert and Larry Pegram. 

Hayes put a fantastic move on Johnson for third place around the back of the circuit.  As they crossed the stripe for the first time Phillis was leading the way from Metcher and Hayes. David Johnson then retired at turn four with yet more problems with the Carl Cox Katana.

IIC Phillip Island RbMotoLens IC R Jed Metcher Alex Phillis Josh Hayes
Josh Hayes closed his younger Aussie foes down – Island Classic International Challenge – Race Two

Phillis and Metcher then pushed each other hard throughout lap two, no quarter given by each and no team orders, any doubt as to whether they were going to put it all on the line for glory was clearly dispelled as it was elbows out.

IIC Phillip Island RbMotoLens IC R Jed Metcher Alex Phillis
Island Classic International Challenge – Race Two – Jed Metcher and Alex Phillis tussled hard

Josh Hayes dropped in a 1m36.957s to close up to the Aussie duo and it was again going to be these three men that would fight for the win.  Fourth placed Larry Pegram was three-seconds behind at half-race distance but was going to score a 15-second penalty for a jump-start, Shawn Giles also copping the wrath of the stewards for the same offence. 

IIC Phillip Island RbMotoLens IC R Jed Metcher Alex Phillis Josh Hayes
Josh Hayes hits the front – Island Classic International Challenge – Race Two

Hayes got the better of both Phillis and Metcher with two laps to run and immediately pulled a couple of bike lengths over his much younger foes.

Josh Hayes got the last lap board with his lead now a full-second over Phillis after the American dropped in yet another 1m36s lap, a 1m36.913 to be exact, the race was now his to lose…

Hayes though got a false neutral heading down the box towards turn four and had to take the escape road, allowing both Phillis and Metcher to pass him unchallenged. Larry Pegram and Steve Martin also sneaked past the recovering Hayes to rub yet more salt into the wounds, pushing Hayes back to fifth.

Phillis the eventual winner by almost four-tenths of a second over Metcher and while Pegram crossed the line in third place that jump-start penalty would relegate the American back to 11th place, promoting Steve Martin on to the race podium which made it an Aussie 1-2-3. 

After the race Team America successfully protested the jump-start penalty for Pegram and he had his third place reinstated.

IIC Phillip Island RbMotoLens IC R Jed Metcher Alex Phillis
Ales Phillis #20 and Jed Metcher #22

Hayes was gutted with his result, telling me he had been so careful with his shifts all race and had been extra cautious on that final lap as he knew he had a reasonable lead. After getting the machine stopped and trying to recover he then found the machine still stuck in top gear! Not one of his many attempted downshifts had been successful thus he lost yet more time getting go again. 

The remaining two six-lap races that will decide the results of the International Challenge will be staged on Sunday with yet another perfect day forecast by the weather gods that are clearly blessing the 2020 Island Classic. Hayes has shown he has the speed to win on Sunday and there are only three-points separating Team America from International Challenge leaders Australia heading in to the final two bouts tomorrow. Game on. 

IIC Phillip Island RbMotoLens Pits Josh Hayes

Josh Hayes looks like the man to beat to tomorrow in regards to outright pace if his machinery stands up to the rigours of competition all the way to the flag


2020 Island Classic Race Results
International Challenge Saturday

 

Pos Rider Class Bike Time/Gap
1 Alexander PHILLIS  AUS 1980 Suzuki XR69 1100 9m50.712
2 Jed METCHER  AUS 1984 Yamaha FJ 1200 +0.387
3 Larry PEGRAM  USA 1983 Yamaha CMR FJ 1250 +4.939
4 Steven MARTIN  AUS 1982 Sukuki Katana 1294 +5.120
5 Joshua HAYES  USA 1983 Yamaha CMR FJ 1250 +7.300
6 Michael GILBERT USA 1983 Yamaha CMR FJ 1250 +8.492
7 Aaron MORRIS AUS 1980 Suzuki Katana 1300 +8.592
8 Jordan SZOKE USA 1983 Yamaha CMR FJ 1250 +11.066
9 Taylor KNAPP  USA 1983 Yamaha CMR FJ 1250 +15.970
10 Cameron DONALD  AUS 1982 Irving Vincent 1300 +19.616
11 Beau BEATON  AUS 1982 Irving Vincent 1300 +19.674
12 Shawn GILES AUS 1982 Suzuki Katana 1294 +31.283
13 Brendan WILSON UK 1980 Suzuki Harris 1170 +36.781
14 Craig DITCHBURN  AUS 1978 Yamaha TZ 750 +39.811
15 Michael NEEVES  UK 1984 Suzuki Harris 1230 +40.669
16 Scott WEBSTER AUS 1982 Suzuki Harris 1200 +52.334
17 Jorge GUERRERO  USA 1982 Suzuki XR69 1200 +52.443
18 David CRUSSELL  USA 1978 Yamaha TZ 748 +56.893
19 Roger GUNN  UK 1982 Harris F1 1170 +1m10.721
20 Joe PETHOUD  USA 1984 Yamaha Harris 1250 +1m11.794
21 Brian FILO  USA 1978 Kawasaki Z1 1260 +1m12.146
22 Tony HART  UK 1982 Suzuki Harris 1085 +1m13.266
23 Damien KAVNEY  UK 1982 Suzuki XR69 1260 +1m15.554
24 Robert RUWOLDT  USA 1980 Kawasaki Harris 1200 +1m16.766
25 Hasse GUSTAFSON  UK 1972 Ducati 750 +1m32.045
26 Richard LLEWELLIN  UK 1982 Ducati TTF1 750 +1m33.425
DNF David JOHNSON  AUS 1982 Suzuki Katana 1100 5 Laps
Pos Name Class Machine Time/Gap
1 Joshua HAYES  USA 1983 Yamaha CMR FJ 1250 9m52.749
2 Alexander PHILLIS  AUS 1980 Suzuki XR69 1100 +0.165
3 Jed METCHER  AUS 1984 Yamaha FJ 1200 +0.215
4 Larry PEGRAM  USA 1983 Yamaha CMR FJ 1250 +3.739
5 Steven MARTIN AUS 1982 Sukuki Katana 1294 +4.405
6 David JOHNSON AUS 1982 Suzuki Katana 1100 +8.458
7 Michael GILBERT  USA 1983 Yamaha CMR FJ 1250 +8.885
8 Taylor KNAPP  USA 1983 Yamaha CMR FJ 1250 +9.192
9 Beau BEATON  AUS 1982 Irving Vincent 1300 +12.802
10 Shawn GILES  AUS 1982 Suzuki Katana 1294 +14.439
11 Jordan SZOKE  USA 1983 Yamaha CMR FJ 1250 +14.594
12 Cameron DONALD AUS 1982 Irving Vincent 1300 +22.783
13 Brendan WILSON UK 1980 Suzuki Harris 1170 +43.873
14 Jorge GUERRERO  USA 1982 Suzuki XR69 1200 +53.870
15 Alexander SINCLAIR  UK 1982 Suzuki XR69 1080 +56.481
16 David CRUSSELL  USA 1978 Yamaha TZ 748 +1m00.822
17 Joe PETHOUD  USA 1984 Yamaha Harris 1250 +1m02.195
18 Roger GUNN ( UK 1982 Harris F1 1170 +1m09.795
19 Brian FILO USA 1978 Kawasaki Z1 1260 +1m10.686
20 Damien KAVNEY UK 1982 Suzuki XR69 1260 +1m10.917
21 Tony HART  UK 1982 Suzuki Harris 1085 +1m16.977
22 Richard LLEWELLIN  UK 1982 Ducati TTF1 750 +1m33.994
23 Hasse GUSTAFSON UK 1972 Ducati 750 +1m34.113
24 Clive WARNER  UK 1978 Yamaha TZ 750 +1m47.852
DNF Aaron MORRIS AUS 1980 Suzuki Katana 1300 2 Laps
DNF Melissa PARIS  USA 1978 Yamaha TZ 748 3 Laps
DNF Robert RUWOLDT USA 1980 Kawasaki Harris 1200 4 Laps
DNF James AGOMBAR  UK 1978 Yamaha TZ 750 5 Laps
Pos Name R1 R2 Total
1 Alexander PHILLIS 39 40 79
2 Jed METCHER 38 39 77
3 Joshua HAYES 40 36 76
4 Larry PEGRAM 37 38 75
5 Steven MARTIN 36 37 73
6 Michael GILBERT 34 35 69
7 Taylor KNAPP 33 32 65
8 Jordan SZOKE 30 33 63
9 Beau BEATON 32 30 62
10 Cameron DONALD 29 31 60
11 Shawn GILES 31 29 60
12 Brendan WILSON 28 28 56
13 Jorge GUERRERO 27 24 51
14 David CRUSSELL 25 23 48
15 Roger GUNN 23 22 45
16 Joe PETHOUD 24 21 45
17 Brian FILO 22 20 42
18 Tony HART 20 19 39
19 Damien KAVNEY 21 18 39
20 David JOHNSON 35 35
21 Aaron MORRIS 34 34
22 Hasse GUSTAFSON 18 16 34
23 Richard LLEWELLIN 19 15 34
24 Craig DITCHBURN 27 27
25 Michael NEEVES 26 26
26 Alexander SINCLAIR 26 26
27 Scott WEBSTER 25 25
28 Robert RUWOLDT 17 17
29 Clive WARNER 17 17
Pos Team Total
1 AUSTRALIA 351
2 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 348
3 UNITED KINGDOM 213

2020 Island Classic Sunday Schedule

Sunday 26TH January 2020
9.05am Start Laps
E33* Pre-War, 125 Post Classic, Forgotten Era, New Era, 250 Post Classic & Classic 5 Laps
E34* 250 Forgotten Era, 250 New Era Production 5 Laps
E35* 500 Forgotten Era & Unlimited Post Classic 5 Laps
E36* Unlimited Forgotten Era 5 Laps
E37* Shannon’s  500 Post Classic , 250 New Era GP, Shannon’s  350 Classic 5 Laps
E38* Pablo’s Motorcycle Tyres New Era Formula 750 5 Laps
E39 350 Forgotten Era & Unlimited Classic 5 Laps
E40* Shannon’s Insurance 500 Classic & 350 Post Classic 5 Laps
E41* Pablo’s Motorcycle Tyres New Era Formula 1300 5 Laps
E42 International Challenge 6 Laps
E43* 500 New Era 5 Laps
E44* Pre-War, 125 Post Classic, Forgotten Era, New Era, 250 Post Classic & Classic 5 Laps
E45* 250 Forgotten Era, 250 New Era Production 5 Laps
Legends Demonstration Lap 1 Lap
E46* 500 Forgotten Era & Unlimited Post Classic 5 Laps
E47* Unlimited Forgotten Era 5 Laps
E48* Shannon’s  500 Post Classic , 250 New Era GP, Shannon’s  350 Classic 5 Laps
E49* Pablo’s Motorcycle Tyres New Era Formula 750 5 Laps
E50* 350 Forgotten Era & Unlimited Classic 5 Laps
Shannon’s Parade Lap 1 Lap
National Anthem
E51 International Challenge 6 Laps
E52* Shannon’s Insurance 500 Classic & 350 Post Classic 5 Laps
E53* Pablo’s Motorcycle Tyres New Era Formula 1300 5 Laps
E54* 500 New Era 5 Laps
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