Digital Edition Subscribers: Read Roadracing World Magazine Now >
Roadracing World.com - An Online Service of Roadracing World Magazine
SHARE:
Mar 29, 2005

Anthony Gobert To Race At Phillip Island This Weekend

Gobert will contest the Linfox Australian Superbike Championship, kicking off a season long campaign in the domestic championship. He will race a Honda CBR 1000RR Fireblade under the Redwing Honda colours - a Honda dealer from Heidelberg in Melbourne. This union, returns Gobert to Honda where his stop-start road race career began.

It's a major coup for the Phillip Island race and fans to the circuit will be keen to see the boy from Bringelly go. In 2000, he thrilled the island crowd when he won the world superbike round on a saturated track. Riding an underpowered and temperamental Bimota, he led from the start and took the win by a massive 30 seconds from defending champion Carl Fogarty.

This April, he will contest the three national superbike races..and it won't be Carl Fogarty on his back, but the leading young guns of the Australian scene including defending champion Adam Fergusson, the immensely talented Josh Brookes and the Yamaha duo of Shannon Johnson and Daniel Stauffer.

Gobert's return will be a surprise to many who thought he was on the scrapheap, his numerous off track misdemeanours eventually overshadowing his riding prowess.

His latest was in April last year when he was sacked from the American AMA Superbike Championship.

"I know I've said it many times before and people will be wondering how long I go before something else happens but truly I know this is my last chance," Gobert explained. "They reckon a cat has nine lives and I think I must be up to about number 10 in my career so far.

"I've been pretty depressed in the last few months as I really didn't think I would get another ride. I'm 30 years old now and in the last 12 months I've haven't had a job so I've had a lot of time to think. Over that time I've matured a lot and I realise I have the best job in the world and have been silly to nearly throw it all away."

It is now more than ten years since Gobert's first and only championship victory when he won the 1994 Australian Superbike Championship aboard a factory Honda RC30.

From those early beginnings as a prodigiously talented teenager Gobert's career has been more soap opera than substance with his off-track antics overshadowing the immense natural talent he demonstrated riding a bike and beating the world's best.

"Honda is where my success began in road racing and I've got to really thank them for giving me another chance," said Gobert.

"I'm going into Philip Island with an open mind because I haven't been on a road bike for 12 months but fortunately for me Phillip Island brings out the best in me. The Redwing Honda boys are working day and night to make the bike as good as it can be so I just hope I know how to still twist the throttle!

"I'd like to say thanks to Perry from Redwing Honda who has given me this opportunity and showing the faith to give me a ride. I've been doing a lot of motocross riding lately to increase my fitness and with my new outlook I aim to repay the favour and get back to what I do best."

In his first appearance in a World Superbike event at Phillip Island in 1994, (moments after signing a deal with Kawasaki) he set the world alight leading the first race by a huge margin only to slow in the later stages to allow world champion-elect, Kawasaki's Scott Russell past to secure his one and only World Championship.

With no team orders to obey in the next race, Gobert left them all standing to finish 12 seconds in front of future four-times world champion Carl Fogarty.

From there the world was Gobert's oyster but his extra curricular activities ensured that he never met his potential an ill fated tenure with the Lucky Strike Suzuki Grand Prix Team the most notable.

For all his controversy off the track, Gobert's riding talent cannot be denied and there has been some stellar moments that have included eight wins in the World Superbike Championship from his memorable first win in 1994 through to 2000, including six wins on a Kawasaki.

In 1996, while still with Kawasaki, he took out a double win at the World Superbike event at Phillip Island with a unorthodox strip on the victory podium.

With this latest opportunity Gobert intends it to be a stepping stone to relaunch his controversial career. "I'm super excited about my first ride back at Phillip Island and I hope to put on a good show for my fans."

EVENT INFORMATION AND TICKET PRICES

Tickets for the Yamaha Superbike World Championship at Phillip Island from April 1-3 can be purchased from Ticketmaster 7 on 1300 136 122 or from the circuit 03 5952 2710. For campsite bookings call the Superbike Hotline on (03) 5952 2710 or visit the website on www.phillipislandcircuit.com.au



More, from another press release issued by Phillip Island Circuit:

Over the years the support races have provided countless thrilling moments and this year the competition will intensify as all the races comprise the opening round of the 2005 Australian Superbike Championships.

The headline act for the locals will be the exhilarating action of the Linfox Australian Superbike Championship races for the big-bore, 1000cc four-stroke machines as well as the Armaguard Australian Supersport Championship and the Neds Red Australian Superstock Cup.

With 140 entries spread over the three classes there's even more reason why spectators shouldn't be lining the fences until the end of the day.

2005 also sees the introduction of a new point-scoring system that sees down to 20th position awarded points that will all count for the 2005 title.

LINFOX AUSTRALIAN SUPERBIKE CHAMPIONSHIP

Defending Superbike Champion, Adam Fergusson on his Joe Rocket Honda Racing Team Honda CBR will be leading the charge as he aims to prove that he can repeat last year's historical effort by successfully defending his Australian Superbike and Supersport crowns.

Plenty of riders are keen to unseat him - none more than road racing's wild child, Anthony Gobert, who has confirmed his return to domestic racing with Redwing Honda and Fergusson's Joe Rocket Honda Racing team mate Josh Brookes.

Brookes took a stranglehold on last year's title before a horrific accident saw him break his pelvis in several places and was forced to sit out the year - while Fergusson grabbed the silverware. Now fully recovered and 100% fit, the 21-year-old from Bringelly on the outskirts of Sydney will be determined to get back that winning feeling and make up for the disappointment of 2004.

Competition will be stiff including the Yamaha Racing Team duo of Shannon Johnson and his teammate Daniel Stauffer on the all new Yamaha R1. In his first year on a Yamaha, Johnson was runner-up to Fergusson in 2004 and demonstrated in the later half of the year how well he adapted to his new team; while Stauffer was another beset by injury that curtailed his season's effort.

In the Team Suzuki camp, three times Australian Champion Shawn Giles will again be riding the potent GSX-R1000. Giles thrives on the Phillip Island layout and holds the current domestic Superbike lap record (1:35.248) while in 2005, Giles will be joined by the extremely talented youngster Glen Allerton.

Allerton makes the step up from the Supersport ranks and if his determination and hard riding on the middleweights combined with the potent Suzuki are any guide, will be a definite threat.

The appearance of Kawasaki ensures that all the major manufacturers will be represented with Jamie Stauffer again donning the green leathers and after a year's development on the awesome ZX10R should be right in the thick of it.

That's not to discount the myriad of talented privateers such as Victorians Nick Henderson (Honda CBR) and Scott Charlton (BTX M/C Suzuki GSXR), Queenslander Rob Bugden (Northstar Yamaha R1), Judd Greedy (Rocket Honda CBR) and Shaun Geronimi (Sydney Mesh and Steel Yamaha R1) who will be swapping paint with each other while trying to keep in touch with the leading factory riders.

ARMAGUARD AUSTRALIAN SUPERSPORT CHAMPIONSHIP

The Armaguard Australian Supersport Championship will no doubt reflect the combative nature of the class with all machines evenly matched. With little modification allowed it is another class where the talent of the riders rises to the top.

Again Adam Fergusson is defending champion but his main threat will again be from inside his own team with Josh Brookes ready to attack as he holds the current Supersport lap record.

Who could forget Brookes' astounding effort as a Wild Card in last year's World Supersport even at the Island? The now 21-year-old from Bringelly (NSW) left many of the fancied riders behind him to duke it out with regular World Supersport frontrunner, Kevin Curtain, and took the win in a dramatic final lap to announce his arrival to the world.

Returning to Yamaha this year, is the mercurial Robbie Baird who has shown that age is no barrier to going fast and will be bashing bars at the front; as well as new signing to the Kawasaki Racing Team Josh Waters. Waters has tasted Grand Prix experience and after a year on a privateer Supersport bike will be all that more race tuned for the event.

Other names include 2004 Australian 125cc GP Champion Bryan Staring (Allect Racing Honda) from Western Australia, Mark Aitcheson (Fraser Yamaha R6), and Mark Stanley (Lismore MC Yamaha R6).

The 18"”year-old Staring is stepping up to the bigger four-strokes and in just a handful of races has demonstrated that he has adapted to the bigger capacity 600cc machines.

Aitchison has been knocking on the door of the leading bunch and with a good team behind him will be aiming to step it up a notch while Stanley is another, who after many years on two-strokes, is getting quicker at every outing.

NEDS RED AUSTRALIAN SUPERSTOCK CUP

The Neds Red Australian Superstock Cup support races will again showcase the rising talent of Australian road racing.

The Superstock Cup is for novices who are just commencing their careers and only 'C' and 'D' grade riders are eligible to compete in the series. Unlike the other classes that compete on race-spec rubber, the headbangers of the Superstock class have to race on a control tyre - Dunlop D208RR road going tyres that are available in any bike shop across the country.

Many of last year's Superstock contingent have made the progression to the Supersport ranks but this has opened the way for many others to stamp their class in the category. Look out for names like Queenslander Darren Edwards (Kawasaki ZX6RR), Drew Bennett (Elliott Brothers Kawasaki), local riders, Aaron Phillips (First Permanent Home Loans Yamaha R6) and Shane Ingram (Yamaha R6).

Qualifying for the championship support races in on Friday, with two races on Saturday and one race a piece on Sunday.

EVENT INFORMATION AND TICKET PRICES

Tickets for the Yamaha Superbike World Championship at Phillip Island from April 1-3 can be purchased from Ticketmaster 7 on 1300 136 122 or from the circuit 03 5952 2710. For campsite bookings call the Superbike Hotline on (03) 5952 2710 or visit the website on www.phillipislandcircuit.com.au

TICKET PRICES

Race day ticket Sunday only $65.00 (children 5-15"¦ $30)

Three Day ticket Friday, Saturday, Sunday $110.00

Family Sunday $130.00

Family three day ticket $220.00

BAR SBK providing an undercover facility at three Superscreens $165

Camping ( four nights Thursday to Sunday inclusive) $75 per person (children 5-15..$25)