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Iron Man crosses the Continent to Phillip Island

Saturday, 21 October 2023

How far would you ride your motorcycle to attend the MotoGP™ Guru by Gryfyn Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix.

Is 500km enough? A thousand? How about two thousand?

Peter Thornton would lap you. The Darwinian hopped on his Yamaha Super Tenere Super 1200 (“To be accurate, it’s the 60th Anniversary Edition!”) just over a week ago and pointed it south.


Almost 4300km later, Thornton and his trusty ride nosed into Cranbourne, about 85km short of the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, for a well-earned rest.

“I have lived in Darwin for 40 years. I left a week ago last Thursday and when I get to Victoria, I base myself in Cranbourne. I commute to and from the track over the weekend, it is a bit easier to ride without the baggage!”

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Thornton had a choice of paths for his journey. There is the run through central Australia, via the Northern Territory and South Australia, and the Queensland route, which is far more picturesque – but busier.

“I took the route through the centre and I stopped a few days on the way,” he said. “By the time I got to Cranbourne it was about 4200 kays all up.

“I will go back through Wagga, I grew up there, and I might come back to go to Tasmania. Or, I could go back through Townsville. We’ll see!”

Is Thornton’s journey to the event a record? Maybe; it might be possible to travel further if you left, for instance, from Broome, Western Australia. But for now, it stands as a pretty impressive feat...