Tag Archives: 2019 Island Classic International Challenge

Aaron Morris wins IC opener | Pridmore & Beaton go down

International Challenge Race One

Images Rob Mott

Weather conditions were much friendlier to all-comers this morning at Phillip Island. Temperatures were nudging the mid 20s today, rather than the furnace-like 40-degree that toasted competitors and their machines on Friday.

Ahead of the first of the premier category International Challenge events for the 2019 Island Classic pit-lane was a flurry of activity as riders and mechanics fettled their fast but fickle mounts. This event is always a battle to keep the highly tuned historic machines going for the 4 x 6-lap races. Not only last-minute fixes and patch up jobs, but even complete gearbox and engine rebuilds are sometimes required during the event.

Aaron Morris looked like the red hot favourite on the qualifying pace form guide, but with many of his competitors being held back during practice with mechanical gremlins, the rest of the field was bouned to get closer come race day.

Paul Byrne, David Johnson, Jed Metcher, Beau Beaton, Steve Martin and Shawn Giles were all in the top ten fastest qualifiers and it was looking as though it would take a momentous effort from Team USA if they were to take it up to the home team in the battle for overall International Challenge Team honours.

American newcomer and four-time AMA Superbike Champion Josh Hayes is still learning the intricacies of the challenging 4445 metres of blacktop that make up the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit.

Jason Pridmore rode last year and thus now has good experience of the circuit and the whole Team America challenge in regards to machinery and back-up has stepped up a notch. Steve Rapp was still building speed after losing track time with mechanical problems, Larry Pegram also still making progress and looking likely to get faster as the event progresses.

The strengthened Team USA has helped to partly fill some of the void left by the absence of Team UK and their brace of star riders, along with the beautiful Roger Winfield prepared machinery that had become a much loved staple of the Island Classic. Still, the absence of a credible Team UK is keenly felt and they are sorely missed. That said, the crowd was still looking pretty strong and there was still a great atmosphere surrounding the event.

None of the Team New Zealand pilots had made it inside the qualifying top ten, such is the competitiveness of the field again this year. Temporary Kiwi Alex Phillis had qualifieid 11th ahead of team-mate Jay Lawrence and this years star Team NZ recruit for 2019, triple BSB Superbike Champion John Reynolds.

IIC Phillip Island Rob Mott Sat Start Pridmore Byrne
Jason Pridmore jumped the start
We are away!

They jumped off the line at 1220 in near perfect conditions but Jason Pridmore clutch bit a fraction too early and thus was hit with time penalty to be added to his race time.

David Johnson led the field through Southern Loop for the first time ahead of Jed Metcher while through the back section it was Paul Byrne, Jason Pridmore and Josh Hayes all giving chase to that duo as Beau Beaton, Alex Phillis and Shawn Giles also gave chase.

It was on!

Then it wasn’t…

A massive high-side for Jason Pridmore at turn 11 saw the red flag brought out as other riders also ended up in the kitty litter. Pridmore had fallen heavily and also caught up in the melee was Beau Beaton. The Aussie copped a major battering in the tumble and looked perhaps worse off than Pridmore. Both riders were treated on the circuit by medical staff, they were conscious, but in a world of hurt…

Let’s go again!

IIC Phillip Island Rob Mott Sat Start Morris Byrne
International Challenge Race One – Island Classic

One person thankful for the re-start was pole-sitter Aaron Morris. He had a terrible start first time around but got away from the line much better in this one only to get swamped on the run toward turn one as Jed Metcher swept through to the lead from with David Johnson and Alex Phillis also forging past Morris by Southern Loop.

IIC Phillip Island Rob Mott Sat Restart Jed Metcher Aaron Morris
Aaron Morris chasing Jed Metcher

Metcher capitalised on his clear air at the front of the field to eke out a small buffer over David Johnson over the first lap and a half but then Aaron Morris wound up the big Katana and reeled in first Johnson, then Metcher to take the race lead. Morris put in a 1m36.789 on that first flying lap on his way to take the race lead, more than a second faster than any other rider in the field on that lap.

Josh Hayes was learning the circuit and his machine fast and by half race distance was really winding it up! Hayes had moved past Shawn Giles and Alex Phillis as he worked his way forward and then took David Johnson for third place just before they got the last lap board.

With one lap to go it was Morris leading Metcher by almost a second with Hayes equidistant back in third place. The trio were still in that order when they got the chequered flag, with David Johnson fourth and Shawn Giles fifth.

Early word was that while both Pridmore and Beaton were in no danger, they had suffered injuries and thus were heading off to hospital for further investigation of their injuries. It seemed unlikely they would take any further part in today’s proceedings.

Jed Metcher is hoping to come back stronger this afternoon to better take the battle up to Morris.

Jed Metcher

“The T-Rex Honda feels a lot better, but I found the limit quite quickly. I almost lost the front at turn four as I turned up the wick when Aaron Morris went by me. I just simply didn’t have the rear edge grip to get the drive and stay with him. We will work on those issues ahead of the second race later on this afternoon and work a bit more on the setup of the bike. We are aiming to get a bit more rear edge grip and try and get the bike to turn a bit faster in the middle of the turn and hopefully we can dip into the 36’s.”

International Challenge Race One Results

  1. Aaron Morris
  2. Jed Metcher +1.260
  3. Josh Hayes +1.614
  4. David Johnson +3.096
  5. Shawn Giles +4.507
  6. Alex Phillis +4.711
  7. Steve Martin +4.817
  8. Larry Pegram +14.943
  9. Jay Lawrence +18.675
  10. John Reynolds +20.509
  11. Michael Neeves +21.614
  12. Mark Miller +24.265
  13. Craig Ditchburn +24.864
  14. Cameron Donald +25.111
  15. Barrett Long +25.329
  16. Dale Quarterley +27.219
  17. Michael Gilbert +34.270
  18. Brendan Wilson +37.067
  19. Scott Webster +37.220
  20. John Allen +46.983

Source: MCNews.com.au

Aaron Morris takes pole for Island Classic International Challenge

2019 Island Classic Friday Report

Images by Rob Mott

Heat and wind. Those were the two words on everyone’s lips at Phillip Island today as they sweltered through oppressive conditions. Ambient temperatures nudging towards 40-degrees does not make for the nicest weather to be working on highly tuned air-cooled machines, it was downright tortuous in fact.

That did not stop more than 500 historic motorcycles taking to the track today though with 15-minute qualifying sessions for all classes of racing. Seven races were also on the card for the opening day of Island Classic 2019. There had been a practice session attended by almost all riders on Thursday, but Friday was the first official day of the event.

Plenty of spectators also made the pilgrimage down to Phillip Island to check out all the action and the Island was buzzing with the huge influx of tourists here to celebrate the Australia Day long weekend. Those not taking shelter from the heat, were instead enjoying the dazzling blue waters of Western Port Bay.

The stiff north-westerly breeze, the gusts of which did cause some riders a few problems, did have the useful side-effect of keeping track temperatures a lot more manageable that they might otherwise have been.

One crew that had not got much sleep overnight were the guys twirling spanners for Team America’s Steve Rapp. The 47-year-old took a hefty tumble yesterday with a stuck throttle pitching him and the CMR prepared and FJ1100 powered Yamaha down the road. The bike was a mess, and his mechanics worked through the night in order to repair the machine for today.

As first qualifying for the International got underway just after midday, track temperatures were already starting to nudge their way towards 50-degrees celsius.

That did not stop Aaron Morris dropping in a 1m37.943 on a Suzuki Katana to top the timesheets ahead of David Johhnson, the South Australian recording a 1m38.518 on an XR69 Suzuki.

America’s Josh Hayes proved his pedigree by adapting quickly to the Phillip Island layout to finish Q1 in P3 ahead of Shawn Giles and Jason Pridmore.

Team America have really stepped things up a level in regards to team strength this year. That has helped to partly fill some of the void left by the absence of Team UK and their brace of star riders, along with the beautiful Roger Winfield prepared machinery that had become a much loved staple of the Island Classic. Still, the absence of a credible Team UK is keenly felt and they are sorely missed.

Some riders were suffering carburettor problems in the heat and fuel boiling issues as the oil-air-cooled machinery struggled to maintain their composure in the conditions.

The wind picked up much more force in the afternoon and switched to a south-westerly. This was met with sighs of relief by everyone up and down pit-lane as it helped to take the sting out of the heat and temperatures started dropping back to a much more manageable 28-degrees.

Ahead of the second and final International Challenge qualifying session Aaron Morris took to the circuit again to claim pole in the New Era Formula 1300 category with a 1m37.685. Before that final International Challenge Qualifying was to get underway though we had some races on the schedule.

Pre-War / 125 P-CL & FE / 250 P-CL and Classic

The opening race of the 2019 Island Classic was the combined Pre-War, 125 Post Classic & Forgotten Era, 250 Post Classic and Classic.

The somewhat strange combination forced by a limited number of entries across these categories.

Murray Seabrook and Roly Orr quickly broke away from the pack on their 1972 Yamaha TD3 machines but Seabrook then ran off the track at turn four and his chance of a race win went down the slip road with him. Terry Morris recovered from a bad start to chase down Roly Orr and by lap two was tussling with Orr for the lead. A mistake by Orr on the final lap gave Morris the advantage he needed to take the win at the chequered flag.

Pre-War / 125 P-CL & FE / 250 P-CL & CL R1 Results
  1. Terry Morris
  2. Roly Orr +0.256
  3. Greg Roberts +43.765
  4. Lorraine Crussell +45.991
  5. Marco Vittino +61.047
  6. Bruce Meredith +66.482 (2CL)
  7. Fred Schafer +67.535 (2CL)
  8. John Imrie +73.140 (2CL)
  9. Ben James +84.528
  10. Stacey Heaney +85.674 (1PC)

250 FE / 125 New Era / 350 Classic

Lachlan Hill started the combined 250 Forgotten Era, 125 New Era and 350 Classic from pole position on his Rotax powered machine that is backed by Ron Angel Classic Racing. Hill immediately streaked away from the field and was in a class of his own onboard that machine.

R2 – 250 FE / 125 New Era / 350 CL R1 Results
  1. Lachlan Hill (2FE)
  2. James Doddrell +3.117 (1NE)
  3. Mark Laing-Hughes +19.077 (1NE)
  4. Grant Boxhall +21.870 (2FE)
  5. Ben Bramich +21.998 (3CL)
  6. David Manson +36.290 (1NE)
  7. Phil Paton +37.092 (3CL)
  8. Robert Heather +60.276 (2FE)
  9. Colin Meredith +105.239 (3CL)
  10. Ross Hollands +1 lap (3CL)

500 Forgotten Era & Unlimited Post Classic

This one was shaping up to be a much closer battle with little separating Dean Oughtred on a CR750 Honda and Tom Bramich on the Ron Angel baked Paton during qualifying.

It was the indomitable Laurie Fyffe though that scored the holeshot on his CB750 Honda.

Beau Beaton’s Irving Vincent has suffered numerous problems which had led to a poor qualifying performance but the big booming Melbourne built machine was quickly into the lead and streak away from its pursuers. If anyone would know how to ride it defensively though it would be Beau Beaton, who was now in his tenth year of ridiing the Horner built machines, would it hang together for the four-lap race distance…?

Hang together it did and Beaton rewarded his crews efforts with a clear win over Dean Oughtred by over ten seconds while Simon Cook got the better of Laurie Fyffe to round out the Unlimited Post Classic podium.

In the 500 Forgotten Era sub-category it was Tom Bramich on the Paton BM3 who claimed the win from Keo Watson and Chris Hayward. Bramich had also claimed an outright podium ahead of the Unlimited Post Classic bikes of Cook and Fyffe.

500 FE & Unlimited Post Classic R1 Results
  1. Beau Beaton
  2. Dean Oughtred +10.589
  3. Tom Bramich +13.414 (5FE)
  4. Simon Cook +27.751
  5. Keo Watson +28.576 (5FE)
  6. Laurie Fyffe +31.092
  7. Chris Hayward +31.478 (5FE)
  8. Jock Woodley +36.609 (5FE)
  9. Steven Brown +36.755 (5FE)
  10. Robert Wallace +42.964

Unlimited Forgotten Era Premier

Beau Beaton was quickly back in action after his victory in the Unlimited Post Classic to take another win in the Unlimited Forgotten Era category.

He had to work harder for this one though as Marty Craggill made life hard for Beaton with Craig Ditchburn also dipping his TZ750 oar in from time to time.

In fact Ditchburn managed to get the better of Craggill late in the race to take second place. Glenn Hindle was fourth ahead of Bernie Leen and Justin Mellrick while young Drew Sells took seventh ahead of Scott Webster.

Unlimited Forgotten Era Premier Race One Results
  1. Beau Beaton
  2. Craig Ditchburn +0.860
  3. Marty Craggill +1.027
  4. Glenn Hindle +14.472
  5. Bernie Leen +15.769
  6. Justin Mellrick +16.508
  7. Drew Sells +17.307
  8. Scott Webster +18.725
  9. Duncan Coutts +23.951
  10. Steve Stanwix +27.557
  11. David Crussell +29.073
  12. Matthew Ineson +36.061
  13. Martin Hodgson +36.089
  14. Denis Ackland +38.450
  15. Albert Tehennepe +43.463

Unlimited Forgotten Era Minor

Due to a massive entry list in the Unlimited Forgotten Era class the field had been separated in to two with the slower machines in the field put into another sub-category. Pete Byers the victor ahead of Dave Fuller and Dan Sandler.

Unlimited Forgotten Era Minor

  1. Pete Byers
  2. Steve Dobson +10.950
  3. Dave Fuller +16.391
  4. Daniel Sandler +26.237
  5. Bruce Andrew +31.146
  6. Garry Kellalea +31.180
  7. Wade Boyd +36.352
  8. Allen Bromley +41.336
  9. Neil Howard +46.687
  10. Tim Wotton +48.530

International Challenge Final Qualifying

The temperature had dropped quite dramatically ahead of the second and final qualifying session for International Challenge competitors got underway at 1545 on Friday afternoon. This certainly suited not only competitors, but also their tyres, and their machinery.

Jed Metcher certainly welcomed the cooler conditions as his T-Rex Honda Harris had not coped at all well with the more oppressive heat earlier in the day.

IIC Phillip Island Rob Mott Friday Jed Metcher
Jed Metcher

Aaron Morris and Jason Pridmore were the first men to dip into the 1m37s this afternoon.  A 1m37.341 the early benchmark from Morris to Pridmore’s 1m37.642. Those laps stood the test of time to see Morris take pole and Pridmore P2 on the grid for tomorrow’s first International Challenge bout.

IIC Phillip Island Rob Mott Friday Jason Pridmore Josh Hayes
Jason Pridmore and Josh Hayes are the fastest qualifiers for Team USA

Paul Byrne would also score a front row start position courtesy of a 1m38.056 ahead of David Johnson, Jed Metcher and Josh Hayes.

IIC Phillip Island Rob Mott Friday David Johnson
David Johnson

Cam Donald was nowhere to be seen, more problems with the Irving Vincent we believe preventing the two-time Isle of Man TT winner to join the circuit in the second session and having to rely on his 1m44.5s from QP1 for his grid position. That QP1 run had also been troubled for Donald as he managed only two laps and was far from his potential pace.

International Challenge Qualifying Results

  1. Aaron Morris 1m37.341
  2. Jason Pridmore 1m37.642
  3. Paul Byrne 1m38.056
  4. David Johnson 1m38.104
  5. Jed Metcher 1m38.122
  6. Josh Hayes 1m38.202
  7. Beau Beaton 1m38.286
  8. Steve Martin 1m38.454
  9. Shawn Giles 1m38.642
  10. Larry Pegram 1m38.819

500 Post Classic

Tom Bramich quickly cleared out from the field in the 500 Post Classic four lap race to the tune of more than ten-seconds a lap better than any of his competitors. Bramich and the Ron Angel Paton on another level.

500 Post Classic Race One Results

  1. Tom Bramich
  2. Paul Smith _+39.154
  3. Tony Logan +65.198
  4. Eric Salmon +73.832
  5. Brendan Burns +90.453
  6. Danny Ahern +90.932
  7. Dean Marsh +109.076
  8. Shan Nicholas-Oliver +109.184
  9. Ben James +116.495

New Era Formula 750

Son led father in qualifying for the New Era Formula 750 with Scott Campbell besting famous father Malcolm (Wally) Campbell on their pair of beautiful RC30 Hondas. In fact the top four qualifiers were RC30 mounted with Nathan Spiteri also on the front row ahead of James Doddrell.

Scotty also led dad away when the lights went out and pulled away to the tune of more than a second a lap on his way to a clear six-second victory over his father while Nathan Spiteri rounded out the podium.

No luck for Ben Burke in this one as he rolled to a stop at turn one on his CBR400 with two laps to run.

New Era Formula 750 Race One Results

  1. Scott Campbell
  2. Malcolm Campbell +6.075
  3. Nathan Spiteri +9.114
  4. Quentin Blazley +15.446
  5. James Doddrell +18.004
  6. Bernie Leen +19.775
  7. Scott Findlay +26.031
  8. Michael McGuire +35.871
  9. Rob Ruwoldt +37.114
  10. Andrew Relph +37.541

The massive program of qualifying and racing all ran quite smoothly despite the challenging conditions and we actually finished racing at 1630, half-an-hour ahead of schedule. Tomorrow we have a huge program of 22 races beginning at 0900, and then we do it all again on Sunday!

Source: MCNews.com.au

Island Classic 2019 International Challenge | Yanks are coming!

Island Classic 2019
International Challenge
Team USA

Fans of January’s Island Classic, the big historic bike meet at Phillip Island, get ready because the Yanks are coming! An aggressive recruitment drive by Team America has bolstered its stocks for the three-nation shootout, the 2019 International Challenge, with first swords drawn in preparation for a battle royale come January 25-27.

Jason Pridmore - 2018 Island Classic - TBG Image
Jason Pridmore – 2018 Island Classic – TBG Image

After finishing third in 2018, Team America will be out to push defending champion Australia all the way with their crack squad announced today. Former AMA and FIM Endurance champion, Jason Pridmore, returns after his top five finishes last January, and he brings with him a massive talent bank led by four-time AMA Superbike champion, Josh Hayes.

Monster Energy Graves Yamaha's Josh Hayes talks tyres with Dunlop development engineer Tom Grolman during a two-day test at Thunderhill Raceway. Photo By Paul Carruthers.
Monster Energy Graves Yamaha’s Josh Hayes talks tyres with Dunlop development engineer Tom Grolman in 2015 – Image P. Carruthers

The US corner is strengthened further with a bunch of ace riders including Larry Pegram, Steve Rapp and Dale Quarterley.

Larry Pegram when competing in the AMA Superbike Championship in season 2000

Aussie expatriate Rennie Scaysbrook – a motorcycle journalist who’s been living, and racing successfully, in America for a number of years has also joined the US squad. Turncoat bastard….  🙂 

Pegram AMA AN
Larry Pegram in 2009 – Image by AJRN

Josh Hayes, 43, dominated the AMA superbike title in the early part of this decade for the Yamaha factory squad, claiming the number one spot from 2010-2012 before winning again in 2014.

Josh Hayes
Josh Hayes on his way to Superpole at VIR in 2015

Hayes also finished seventh in the season-ending MotoGP race at Valencia in 2011 as a replacement for injured compatriot Colin Edwards, while Rapp has also tasted action in the biggest league of all when he rode in the 2012 Indy round of the MotoGP title.

Hayes GP AN
Josh Hayes finished seventh in the season-ending MotoGP race at Valencia in 2011 as a replacement for injured compatriot Colin Edwards – Image by AJRN

Rapp, Pegram and Quarterley were also staples of the AMA scene for many years, with Quarterley one of only a handful of riders to win a superbike race as privateer after also winning the AMA BOTT Wins Championship in 1988. The now 57-year-old turned his talents to car racing when he retired from two-wheel competition, but recently won a major classic motorcycle race at Sonoma in California.

A large contingent of the American squad will be riding machines prepared by Mojo Yamaha, which is a motorcycle racing team focused on classic Yamahas with engine builder, Larry Cook, and chassis expert, Denis Curtis, the helm. Fans can find out more at www.mojoyamaha.com

The engines are a mix of oversized FJ1100 four-strokes and TZ750 two-strokes, housed in frames produced by CMR Racing.

Mojo Yamaha
A line up of Mojo Yamaha machines on their way to the 2019 Island Classic

“Immediately following the 2018 International Challenge, the build and preparation of the bikes for 2019 got underway,” said Team America riding captain Dave Crussell. “The goal is to engineer the most reliable bikes while keeping them as close to identical in build as possible.

“For 2019, we have five CMR/FJs and two TZ750s. These Yamahas have proven to be the best possible fit for Mojo Yamaha and should offer the most competitive advantage in our quest to win the event.”

America will compete against Australia and New Zealand in the 15th running of the International Challenge, which has hosted some of the most cut-throat racing ever seen at the 4.45km grand prix circuit. Each team can field up to 13 riders for their national squad.

The International Challenge is reserved for bikes manufactured between 1973 and 1984. There will be four six-lap races to decide the winner, with recognition for the highest individual scorer through the Ken Wootton Memorial Trophy.

Australia has already named its team (Link): 2018 individual winner David Johnson, Jed Metcher, Steve Martin, Shawn Giles, Beau Beaton, Cam Donald, Dean Oughtred, Aaron Morris, Paul Byrne, Craig Ditchburn and Scott Webster. The New Zealand team will be named next week.

And in a first for the International Challenge, the 2019 event will be filmed for a two-hour television program to be broadcast in UK and Europe, USA and Canada, S.E. Asia, and in Australia on Foxsports and SBS in February.

The Island Classic, now in its 26th year, isn’t just about the International Challenge, though, with the event a pilgrimage for so many riders and spectators as they celebrate a century of motorcycling. There will be 56 races held across the weekend, catering for pre-WW1 bikes through to Vintage (1920-1945), Classic and Post Classic (from 1946 to 1972) and the more recent Forgotten Era and New Era classes.

The rider who scores the most points across the non-International Challenge races will be awarded the prestigious Phil Irving Perpetual Trophy. Over 500 bikes will either be racing or on display.

Island Classic 2019
International Challenge – Team USA

  • Wade Boyd – Moto Guzzi Le Mans – 1988
  • David Crussell – Yamaha TZ750 – 1978
  • Michael Gilbert – Yamaha FJ1100 – 1983
  • Jorge Guerrero – Suzuki XR69 – 1982
  • Joshua Hayes – Yamaha FJ – 1983
  • Bruce Lind – Yamaha TZ750 – 1975
  • Eric Lindauer – Kawasaki KZ – 1980
  • Barrett Long – Kawasaki Harris – 1982
  • Martin Morrison – Suzuki RGB500 MK7 – 1982
  • Larry Pegram – Yamaha FJ1100 – 1983
  • Joe Pethoud – Yamaha Harris F1 – 1984
  • Jason Pridmore – Yamaha FJ1200 – 1983
  • Dale Quarterley – Suzuki XR69 – 1984
  • Steve Rapp – Yamaha – CMR FJ 1100
  • Robert Ruwoldt – Harris Kawasaki – 1980
  • Rennie Scaysbrook – Suzuki GSX1100 XR69 – 1980

Tickets now on sale

Tickets are now on sale at islandclassic.com.au. A three-day adult ticket, purchased in advance, is just $82, and free for children 15 and under (accompanied by a full-paying adult). Packaged with four night camping the cost for a four-day weekend away is $164* for event entry and camping.

*All prices quoted are advance tickets. Advance ticket sales end midday Wednesday, January 23, 2019. Buy advance and save. Gate ticket prices are additional. Kids classified as age 15 and under.

Source: MCNews.com.au

Team Australia | 2019 Island Classic International Challenge

2019 Island Classic International Challenge

Team Australia

If you love bikes, there’s nothing closer to pure heaven than immersing yourself in a world of motorcycles, mechanics and memorabilia at the iconic historic event, the International Island Classic at Australia’s Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit.

Island Classic pits always hold plenty of surprises and eye candy

Now in its 26th year, the Classic will once again roll into the island for the Australia Day long weekend from Friday to Sunday January 25-27, with 56 races on the agenda and tickets available now from www.islandclassic.com.au.

Island Classic pits always hold plenty of surprises and eye candy

A celebration of a century of motorbikes, the event is a true bike fest with close to 500 bikes racing and on display, including old Indians, Nortons and Vincents through to vintage Triumphs, Harleys and Ducatis. There’s six historic categories from pre-WW1 bikes through Vintage (1920-1945), Classic and Post Classic (from 1946 to 1972) and the more recent Forgotten Era and New Era classes fighting for class honours and the Phil Irving Perpetual Trophy.

Clive Warner’s TZ750

They all race hard, but when it comes to the dog-eat-dog competition the focus is on the International Challenge. Now in its 15th year, the Challenge will see defending champion Australia take on the USA and New Zealand on bikes manufactured between 1973 and 1984, piloted by riders boasting loads of experience and exceptional talent.

Team Australia Island Classic
Island Classic International Challenge

Teams from Australia, the US and NZ will fill the International Challenge grid for four, six-lap races, with the Aussies ready to defend the title they wrestled back from the UK in last January.

Captain Rex Wolfenden has released his team of star recruits including the squad’s ace performer of 2018, Adelaide’s David Johnson, who led the Aussies back to the winner’s circle after three years lagging behind the Brits.

David Johnson Island Classic Beau Beaton
Beau Beaton and David Johnson – Island Classic 2018

Johnson will be back on the Suzuki XR69, hoping to emulate his 2018 performance which included two wins and two seconds en-route to being awarded the Ken Wootton Memorial Trophy for best individual performance.

Also back in the saddle after an Island Classic hiatus will be Isle of Man specialist Cam Donald and Melbourne’s Jed Metcher on the T-Rex Racing Honda. Metcher, who just took out the Australian Historic Championship at Broadford in November, will race the Honda he campaigned to victories at the Island Classic in 2016 and 2017.

Jed Metcher

“At Broadford my bike felt amazing, and we have a bit of further development for the island. I’ll be ready,” said Metcher who has taken a break from his international racing career to focus on his Race Center business in Melbourne’s Brunswick. I love the Island Classic, I just love the atmosphere. I love the enthusiasm of generations of people who are in love with their motorcycles and just enjoy everything on offer from the paddock to the track. And of course the racing is tough. But it is friendly competition. You know the sun shines, it’s Phillip Island, everyone who there is into it. The Island Classic is really a good place to be.”

Jed Metcher Trex Honda ImageRC
Jed Metcher

The Australian team boasts great depth and experience with world endurance champion, Melbourne’s Steve Martin; three-time Australian superbike champion and Island Classic champion Shawn Giles; and Coffs Harbour’s Beau Beaton who in 2018 won the Phil Irving trophy.

In addition, there’s Dean Oughtred, Aaron Morris, Paul Byrne, Craig Ditchburn and, returning for his umpteenth appearance, long-time campaigner Scott Webster.

2017 Island Classic - Unlimited Forgotten Era - Scott Webster - Image: Cameron White
2017 Island Classic – Unlimited Forgotten Era – Scott Webster – Image: Cameron White

The Island Classic is the perfect Australia Day getaway without breaking the bank. A three-day adult ticket for the Island Classic, purchased in advance, is just $82, and free for children 15 and under (accompanied by a full-paying adult). You can camp at the circuit for four nights for just over $20 per night (with kids once again free) which is a bargain in anyone’s language.

Add it up and you can have a four-day weekend away, with four nights of on-circuit camping, and three days entry to one of the world’s great historic bike meets for the grand total of just $164* per adult and you can bring your kids for free!

Tickets for the 26th running of the International Island Classic, the largest historic bike meet in the southern hemisphere, are available on islandclassic.com.au or at the gate.

2019 Island Classic International Challenge

Team Australia

  • Captain: Rex Wolfenden
  • David Johnson – Suzuki XR69 – 1982 – 1294cc
  • Shawn Giles – Suzuki Katana – 1982 – 1294cc
  • Steve Martin – Suzuki Katana – 1982 – 1294cc
  • Beau Beaton – Irving Vincent – 1982 – 1300cc
  • Cam Donald – Irving Vincent – 1982 – 1300cc
  • Jed Metcher – T-Rex Racing Honda Harris F1 – 1982 – 1150cc
  • Dean Oughtred – Suzuki GSX1100S Katana – 1982 – 1260cc
  • Aaron Morris – Suzuki Katana – 1982 – 1294cc
  • Paul Byrne – Suzuki XR69 – 1982 – 1294cc
  • Craig Ditchburn – TZ 750 Yamaha – 1982 – 750cc
  • Scott Webster – Suzuki XR69 – 1982 – 1200cc

*All prices quoted are advance tickets. Advance ticket sales end midday Wednesday 23 January 2019. Buy advance and save. Gate ticket prices are additional.

Source: MCNews.com.au