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Latest News By January 22, 2016 February 3rd, 2020

Australia Leads International Challenge After Day One

Australia has kickstarted its campaign to win back the Mitchelton Wines International Challenge at the 2016 Australian Motorcycle News International Island Classic with solid results in today’s opening two races.

Led by dual victories to the high-flying Beau Beaton (Irving Vincent Black Lightning), back in action at the Island Classic after sitting out the 2015 instalment, Australia is on 358pts at the halfway mark in the International Challenge, ahead of defending champion the United Kingdom (346pts), newcomer Ireland (225pts), America (191pts) and New Zealand (173pts).

The two five-lap races saw the same trifecta out front: Beaton ahead of UK star Jeremy McWilliams (Yamaha Harris) and Melbourne’s Jed Metcher (Honda Harris).

Race one saw Beaton and McWilliams slog it out for the entire distance, while Metcher carved through the field at a rapid rate of knots from a lowly grid position to finish third from Shawn Giles (Suzuki Katana) and Steve Martin (Katana) — four Australians in the top five. UK rider Glen Richards (Suzuki Harris) was next home ahead of teammates John McGuinness (Honda Harris) and Conor Cummins (Honda Harris), while Irish expatriate Paul Byrne (Suzuki McIntosh) was ninth from Ryan Farquhar (Yamaha Harris).

After setting the fastest lap of the race in lap one, Metcher was on pole for race two and he took the early lead before the red-hot Beaton and then McWilliams pushed him back to third. Martin slipped by Richards in the last few laps to finish fourth, and then it was Cummins, Byrne, Farquhar, Australia’s Cameron Donald (McIntosh Suzuki) and McGuinness.

In the fight for International Challenge individual honours, won in 2015 by Farquhar, Beaton has a maximum of 80pts after day one from McWilliams (78), Metcher (76), Martin (73) and Richards (71).

The final two International Challenge races will be held tomorrow as part of the packed Island Classic program.

CLASSIC PRICES FOR THE ISLAND CLASSIC!

Tickets are available at the gate from 8am each morning. Tomorrow (Sunday) for $55. Children 15 and under are free.

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