This weekend’s MotoGP at Phillip Island won’t just have an international flavour, as the stars of Australian road racing wage their own war for the inaugural crowns in the 2014 Phillip Island Championship across national superbike, prostock and supersport ranks.
Massive grids are set to line up in what should be a hotly contested finale, with the superbike field particularly brimming with blue-chip talent. The grid not only contains stars like Wayne Maxwell, Jamie Stauffer and Josh Hook, but top riders like Troy Herfoss and Glenn Allerton will also be in action after missing the opening round of the Phillip Island Championship, which was held as an undercard to the world superbike round way back in February.
Two races were held for the superbike, prostock and supersport riders at world superbikes, and there will be three eight-lap battles at this weekend’s MotoGP. The Phillip Island Championship is a collaborative effort between the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit and Australian Grand Prix Corporation with a total of five national races held across the two international meets (wsbk and MotoGP). Three trophies will be awarded – for the top championship performer in Australian Superbike, Australian Prostock and Australian Supersport.
In superbikes, tireless campaigner Stauffer is the leader on 45pts after a first and second in February’s round one on his Honda, ahead of rookie Mike Jones (Kawasaki, 38pts) and Adam Christie (BMW, 34pts).
The opener was a mix of highs and lows for team mate Hook, who was victorious in the first race but crashed out at turn 11 in race two. His off, left the just signed Honda recruit, Maxwell, nowhere to go except cannon into his new teammate’s stricken machine. It was a double blow for Maxwell, who also crashed out in race one.
The duo were both injured but are now fit and firing – Maxwell is on track to win the 2014 Australasian Superbike Championship in the final round at Sydney Motorsport Park in November – and will undoubtedly circulate at the front during the races at MotoGP, with one to be held every day from Friday to Sunday.
Since round one of the Phillip Island Championship, Team Honda has added Herfoss to its roster, while Allerton (BMW) was also a non-starter in February as he was on world superbike duties. Allerton recently wrapped up his second Australian superbike title at Phillip Island, but the quality of the field was wafer thin compared to what will greet him during the MotoGP round.
Other riders joining the Phillip Island Championship for the first time in 2014 will include Ducati hard chargers Beau Beaton and Craig McMartin, as well as BMW’s Linden Magee.
In prostock, Sean Condon (Kawasaki) leads on a maximum 50pts from Ben Henry (Kawasaki) and Chris Trounson (Honda), both locked on 37pts. The prostock competitors compete alongside the superbikes.
Meanwhile, the battle for supersport glory looks set to be a thriller, with Daniel Falzon just a 2pt leader over Aaron Morris (45 to 43), followed by Callum Spriggs (38pts). The trio will probably remain in close combat once again – only one-second separated them in both February races – but if they let their guard down the likes of Matt Davies, Ryan Taylor, Hudson Pitt or Mitch Levy will be ready to pounce. All the leading contenders ride Yamahas.
Practice and qualifying for all three classes in the Phillip Island Championship will be held on Friday morning, with the first of the races to be staged later that afternoon.
Final round (round two – three races) of the Phillip Island Championship to be held at the Tissot Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix
Australian Superbike / ProStock race times: Friday 5.05pm (8 laps); Saturday 8.55am (8 laps) ; Sunday 9.40am (8 laps)
Australian Supersport race times: Friday 5.35pm (8 laps); Saturday 8.15am (8 laps) ; Sunday 9.05am (8 laps)
Phillip Island Championship Point Score after round one (two races) held at the QBE World Superbike round – February 2014
Australian Superbike 1. Jamie Stauffer –Honda – 45 pts 2. Michael Jones – Kawa – 38 pts 3. Adam Christie – BMW- 34 pts
Australian Prostock 1. Sean Condon – Kawa – 50 pts 2. Ben Henry – Kawa – 37 pts 3. Chris Trounson – Honda – 37 pts
Australian Supersport 1. Daniel Falzon – Yam- 45 pts 2. Aaron Morris- Yam – 43 pts 3. Callum Spriggs – Yam 38 pts
FFI Ingrid Roepers at firstname.lastname@example.org or mobile 04 111 989 44