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Feb 13, 2018

Australian Superbike: Massive Field Of 50 Superbikes Entered In Opening Round At Phillip Island

The opening round of the 2018 Australian Superbike Championship has 50 entries in the Superbike field. Photo courtesy of Motorcycling Australia.

ASBK Raising the Bar with 50 YMI Superbike Entries for Round 1

February 13, 2018

The Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship presented by Motul Pirelli (ASBK) is set to explode in season 2018, with a modern era record of 50 entries in the YMI Superbike class for Round 1, held alongside Yamaha Finance Australian WorldSBK Round at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, February 22-25.

A star studded field will take to the track at Phillip Island with the calibre of talent running deeper in the paddock than we have seen in a very long time, which includes three-time WorldSBK champion Troy Bayliss (Desomosport Ducati, 1299 Panigale Final Edition) coming out of retirement to try and win his first ASBK title.

2017 ASBK YMI Superbike Champion Josh Waters (Team Suzuki ECSTAR, GSX-R1000R) will have his hands full as he attempts to win his fourth ASBK Championship, with former champions Wayne Maxwell (Yamaha Racing Team, YZF-R1), Glenn Allerton (NextGen Motorsports, BMWS1000R), Troy Herfoss (Penrite Honda Racing, Honda CBR1000SP) and Bryan Staring (BCperformance, ZX-10R) all looking to get back on top of the podium.

The depth of talent on the grid demonstrates 2018 is set to be the biggest year for ASBK in the modern era.

Over the past three seasons the ASBK paddock has shown consistent growth, from 29 riders in the YMI Superbike class in 2016, to 43 in 2017, before hitting a record 50 riders to kick off season 2018.

Motorcycling Australia’s Operations Director, Martin Port is delighted to see the amount of entries for the opening event; “ASBK is continuing to grow and the belief we have in the championship is being echoed with a record-breaking 50 entries for the YMI Superbike class. This is a major boost for the sport as a whole, and shows ASBK is heading in the right direction.

“We are on track to build on a very successful 2017 season, with near capacity grids, strong manufacturer support, the introduction of the combined ASBK and Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) at Tailem Bend, plus television and live stream. Road Racing in Australia has not looked this healthy since the 90's,” Port finished.

To add to a modern era record of entries in the YMI Superbike class, the grids in the Kawasaki Supersport, Australian Supersport 300 and the YMF R3 Cup are looking as strong as ever.

2018 ASBK Calendar

Pre-Season Official ASBK Test - Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, VIC January 30 - 31

Round 1- WSBK, Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit VIC February 22 - 25

Round 2- Wakefield Park Raceway, Goulburn NSW March 16 – 18

Round 3- The Bend Motorsport Park, Tailem Bend, SA April 19 - 22

Round 4- Hidden Valley Raceway, Darwin NT June 28 - 1 July

Round 5- Morgan Park Raceway, Warwick QLD August 17 - 19

Round 6- Winton Motor Raceway, Benalla, VIC September 7 - 9

Round 7- Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, VIC October 12 – 14

Stay up to date with all the latest news and updates from the ASBK by liking ASBK on Facebook, following the @asbk on Instagram and checking out the ASBK website.



More, from a press release issued by Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit:

Massive grid for Australian Superbikes at next weekend’s WorldSBK season-opener

#LiveAtTheIsland #AusWorldSBK

Massive is the only word for it, with the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit inundated with entries for the Australian classes – particularly YMI Australian Superbike and Supersport 300 – for next weekend’s (Feb 23-25) season opener of the 2018 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship, Yamaha Finance round.

Entries for Australian superbikes have topped 50 – the biggest ever entry for superbikes in “computerised” history – including the name on everyone’s lips, the return to racing at age 48 of Aussie icon Troy Bayliss.

Supersport 300 has a healthy grid of 41, Supersport features 21 and the YMF R3 Cup boasts 25 starters delivering a bumper grid for the opening round of the Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship presented by Motul Pirelli (ASBK).

Fans are the winners with back-to-back racing and intense competition from the big grids across all three days. The schedule boasts 15 races, with 12 of the battles for the Australian classes, two races for world superbike on Saturday and Sunday and one world supersport showdown on Sunday.

With the YMI Superbike grid at full capacity for qualifying, the scene is set from the get go for a dog-fight against competitors and the clock to make the start grid of 40 riders for the three, 12 lap national races.

“I’ve never seen such an incredible field for our Australian category and with 50 starters it will be a battle royale to make the top 40 for racing,” said Fergus Cameron, circuit managing director.

“The line-up is brilliant with young talent like Daniel Falzon, riders with vast international experience like Josh Waters, Bryan Staring and Alex Phillis, and of course the return of Troy Bayliss. Obviously everyone wants to race him and now they get their chance!”

There’s plenty of ‘chatter’ about the return to racing of the three-time WorldSBK champion, Bayliss, who’s coming out of retirement to compete in the national ASBK championship for the first time since 1997.

Bayliss started to show some form of old in a recent two-day test at Phillip Island, and he’ll have to continue on that same trajectory on his DesmoSport Ducati to keep pace with reigning Australian champion Josh Waters (Team Suzuki ECSTAR Australia), Wayne Maxwell (Yamaha Racing Team), Troy Herfoss (Penrite Honda), Daniel Falzon (Yamaha Racing Team), Bryan Staring (Kawasaki BCperformance), Glenn Allerton (NextGen Motorsports BMW) and Mike Jones (Allsite Concrete Cutting Kawasaki).

Waters is the deserving championship favourite after he came home with a wet sail in the last few rounds in 2017, with his GSX-R1000R producing an irresistible blend of pace and composure by season’s end.

Meanwhile, rookie Mark Chiodo will partner Waters at Team Suzuki ECSTAR Australia, and a clutch of fast privateers are also primed for title action: reigning Australian Supersport champion Ted Collins (NextGen Motorsports BMW), Mason Coote (AARK Suspension Kawasaki), Michael Blair (Yamaha Gosford), Alex Phillis (Suzuki), Matthew Walters (Swann Insurance Kawasaki), Aaron Morris (Yamaha) and Callum Spriggs (Kawasaki), while former junior speedway star and Moto3 rider Arthur Sissis (Suzuki) is a surprise round one entry.

SUPERSPORT

In Supersport, Tom Toparis (Cube Racing Kawasaki) and Cru Halliday (Yamaha Racing Team) are the big guns, while others fighting for glory in the 21-rider field will be Nic Liminton (Yamaha), Giuseppe Scarcella (BCPerformance Junior Team Kawasaki), Broc Pearson (Yamaha), returning veteran Brendan Clarke (Champion’s Rider Days Kawasaki), Luke Mitchell (Yamaha) and Max Croker (Mat Mladin Suzuki).

SUPERSPORT 300

The Supersport 300 class remains as popular as ever with 41 riders coming out to play, with race honours likely to be fought out between Oli Bayliss (Cube Racing Kawasaki), Seth Crump (Rock Oil KTM), Tom Bramich (Nolan Helmets Yamaha), Hunter Ford (YRD Yamaha), Ben Bramich (GowMoto KTM), Harry Khouri (Acid Racing Yamaha) and Jarred Brook (KTM Australia). The Supersport 300 grid is dominated by Yamaha, KTM and Kawasaki.

YMF R3 CUP

Finally, as the newest class join the Aussie WorldSBK round, the YMF R3 Cup will showcase an identical line-up of 25 Yamaha YZF-R3s. Tom Bramich (Nolan Helmets), Hunter Ford (Ford Brothers Racing), Harry Khouri (Acid Racing), Max Stauffer (Chris Watson Motorcycles) and Laura Brown (WNR) headline the 24-bike grid.

All four ASBK classes will have three races apiece over the WorldSBK weekend, with practice commencing on Thursday.

WorldSBK and WorldSSP races

The 22-lap WorldSBK races will be run at 3:00pm on Saturday and Sunday respectively, with Maxwell, Falzon and Herfoss also competing alongside their domestic duties.

The 18-lap WorldSSP race will begin at 1:30pm on Sunday, with even more Aussies to cheer on: championship regulars Anthony West and Lachlan Epis, as well as local wildcard Toparis. All three will be Kawasaki mounted.

Ticketing and camping options

A three-day pass for WorldSBK at the island, purchased in advance, is just $120*. Add camping at the circuit campground for up to four nights, and you’ve the perfect location for a summer long weekend away with your mates or family. Go to www.worldsbk.com.au or Ticketek for further information.

Feel like spoiling yourself? Opt for a Bar SBK pass at $260* and gain access to three undercover facilities, or go for a VIP option in the fully catered suites above pit lane.

And as always with World Superbikes kids 15 and under are FREE^, as is your bike.

Nothing beats World Superbikes…LIVE at the Island. Book your spot for the 2018 World Superbike season opener at Phillip Island, next weekend February 23-25, at Ticketek.

Advance ticket sales close Wednesday February 21 at 4pm. Buy early and save or get your tickets at the gate.

For further information www.worldsbk.com.au or the Superbike Hotline 1300 728 007

*All ticket prices quoted purchased in advance and subject to Ticketek processing fee. Book now and save on gate prices.

^Children 15 and under are free and must be accompanied by a paying adult

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