This article is taken from the Michelin® Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix 2018 Official Program. Get yours for $10 at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit.
A perennial favourite of Grand Prix fans, the domestic Superbike support category gives MotoGP™ goers the chance to witness the fiercely fought battles of production-based racing. Using machinery based on what you can purchase from a showroom floor, it’s a stark and fascinating contrast to the hand-built prototypes the MotoGP™ riders will campaign on the very same circuit, but the drive for victory will be exactly the same.
There’ll be plenty of major players vying for glory, and with the MotoGP™ paddock and thousands of racing fans watching on, the stakes will be high. As well as highly experienced veterans such as Hamish McMurray (Kawasaki), Philip Czaj (Aprilia) and Tracey Davies (Ducati), there’s a future Australian star using the event to make their big-bike debut.
Aussie Speedway champ turned rapid road racer Max Croker, who enjoyed wins in the Supersport 300 category during the 2017 Australian MotoGP™ support races, has recently announced he will be stepping up to Superbike class for the 2019 ASBK season. Supported by seven-time AMA Superbike champ Mat Mladin, it will be captivating to see how the talented youngster adapts to almost 200 horsepower of the Suzuki GSXR-1000 after just one year competing in the 600cc category.
The Superbike class will be battled out over four races, with just one 20-minute practice session before competitors are required to qualify and, adding to the interest, riders will be restricted to a total of nine tyres between Friday’s 20-minute qualifying session and the conclusion of the final race on Sunday morning.
The opening race will be fought over 10 laps, with the remaining three races eight-lap dashes. With very little track time to dial in the ultimate setting for the conditions, it’ll be enthralling to watch the action unfold and culminate into what is sure to be a red-hot battle for supremacy during the final Superbike race on Sunday.