Twenty-one-year-old Australian Matt Walters will join countryman Glenn Allerton on the Superbike World Championship grid for the opening round at Phillip Island this weekend.
Waters will replace Luca Scassa on the Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R, the Italian laid up after breaking his pelvis in two places during testing at Phillip Island earlier this week.
It will be Walters’ world championship debut; his baptism of fire in one of the most competitive WSBK grids on record.
“It all happened really quickly, and I’ll be on a massive learning curve over the weekend,” said Walters.
“But I have ridden a ZX-10R locally for the last three years, so I know it inside-out. The basics of my bike and Scassa’s are pretty similar, so that gives me some confidence.”
Walters missed this morning’s opening world superbike practice session while he was consummating the Pedercini deal, and his first track time will be at 3:30pm this afternoon.
Only two days ago, Allerton was also announced as a last-minute replacement for the injured Frenchman Sylvain Barrier, and he will ride a BMW S 1000 RR in Sunday’s two 22-lap races. Both Aussies will be on EVO-spec machines.
Last year was a real breakout one for Walters in the domestic road racing ranks, as he not only won the prostock class in the Australian Superbike Championship on his ZX-10R, but also finished fourth in the FX-Superbike Championship, winning races against riders of the calibre of former world supersport runners-up Kevin Curtain and Broc Parkes.
Walters hails from the Cessnock region of NSW, a precinct which has produced a number of motorcycle racing greats including supercross icon Chad Reed and multiple Australian road racing champion Jamie Stauffer.