Tag Archives: Jason Pridmore

Interview: Patricia Fernandez

I’m just going to come out and say it – the motorcycle community is (mostly) full of lads with a love for bikes and a passion for tweaking things that they broke. 

So what happens when the world’s fastest female racer gets on a Bagger for the track?

I’m chewing a bit on the tip of my pencil as I contemplate this. 

Patricia Fernandez is no joke – the 36-year old Oklahoman has been racing professionally since 2012, and has ridden everywhere, on pretty much anything you can think of. 

She’s hopped from superbikes to sidecars, dirt bikes, even competing in the newer racing Bagger classes like the Bagger Racing League(BRL) and King Of The Baggers(KOTB).

Most importantly, she’s done it all in a world where most pro racers (if not all) are guys.

There was so much to ask her, so I decided to go with a little of everything.

Tell us about your inspiration for motorcycles, how that all started.

I always loved motorcycles – can’t remember a time when I didn’t.

Patricia Fernandez working on a motorcycle
Patricia Fernandez working on a motorcycle

When I was younger, I just thought motorcycles were cool, and I always asked for a motorcycle or a dirt bike, and obviously, it was a hard no. 

The first time I recall seeing a girl on a sportbike was in the Matrix movie. Neo’s little girlfriend was on a semi-truck, then got on a Ducati and ended up riding it off on the highway or whatever. 

To me, that was the first time I remember seeing a female on a motorcycle. I thought it was so bad-ass. 

When that scene came in the Matrix, I was like, ‘Oh my God. There’s a bad-ass, hot chick on a bad-ass bike, and she’s riding the wheels off it and stuff’. And I just thought it was so awesome.

Now, Black Widow has just come out – and looking at the difference between my past and the present? Huge difference. Now you see women on bikes everywhere. 

Later down the road, I had left my parent’s house – I wasn’t allowed a motorcycle as long as I was under that roof, so I left – and I signed up with The Motorcycle Safety Foundation Class. 

I went into a big parking lot with a little Rebel 125, and I did the course. 

It was funny because they say that women have a lower center of gravity, and for the sportbikes, we have naturally stronger legs and core, where men have a naturally stronger upper body. 

I didn’t really use my own upper body until I went to the big bike after the course – and then the upper body became an issue, and I started to change training and stuff. 

When I started to get into the world of pro racing, I had problems with my starts, and we went to a drag strip where a multi-time champ was coaching the classes.

He said, ‘Women are actually better at starts because they have better reaction times.’ 

Ha! I knew I was meant to ride, but that little tip was great! 

No one ever really talks about that stuff. 

I’ll tell you this: To any woman that gets on the back with a man – I think you’re braver than someone that rides solo, to be honest. 

Riding on the back like that, you have less control. So I think it’s cool that solo female riders are more common now, that women are perceived as stronger characters and capable of handling a bike.


How did you find the world of pro racing?

When I started pro racing, there weren’t very many girls, and it was nasty. Pro Racing was a whole different level of competition. 

It’s interesting – at first, when I got into the world of racing, everyone wanted to help me. I was the only girl on the track; they would offer their aid, I wasn’t a threat to them. 

But then I felt as I progressed and as I became faster, they didn’t want to help me. And then I became their competition – and that’s when it started becoming ugly. 

I remember I first wanted pink rims and all this other stuff, but we had to end up hiding it. 

I got to the point where I had to tuck my hair in my leathers, make the bike black, had to make it super incognito because guys would tell me they’d target or fixate on me, or they’d hit me. 

Patricia Fernandez warming up on a bike for the track
Patricia Fernandez warming up on a bike in anticipation of a day at the track.

I’ve had my own teammates tell me they would take me out before they’d ever let me beat them.

In the last 10 years that I’ve been around, that’s gone downhill a lot more, but I think that’s also because there are more women, and we’re around more. 

I’m also more established now, so I think it’s harder to bully me around versus a newbie that just started. I really took it for a while, though. 

I remember a guy would bump you or push you on the track, kind of intimidate you. And then I got tired of it – I got to the point where someone did that to me, and I pushed him right back. 

The racer came in after the round was over, and he literally said to me, ‘I wanted to push you and thought that you would lean back…and when you pushed right back, I didn’t mess with you.’ 

And it was a light bulb moment to me – that if I stand my ground and don’t let them bully me, then I won’t get bullied.

Funny thing – I have found (in the world of motorcycle racing at least) women aren’t necessarily competitive against men. But I did an all-female race down in Mexico…and let me tell you, that was just about the nastiest race I’ve ever been in. 

We women might not feel like we need to compete against other guys but put 20 girls together at one time in a room…there’s going to be some hair pulling, haha. 

Groups of women competing like that terrify me. 

One thing to note – overseas, I never experienced any of that underhanded competition there. There’s a lot more community, and everyone just likes each other a lot. It’s more so the really competitive sport of racing on a pro-level – that is where I’ve experienced the most of that stupidity.


You competed in road racing overseas. Besides the camaraderie, how did you find the differences between racing in the Western and Central hemispheres?

Well…they refer to it as ‘proper road racing’ there… they don’t like when we call it road racing, haha. 

100%, night and day difference. 

They do everything they can to make it as safe as possible, and it’s impressive to see – and when I’d fly out there a couple of weeks early, I’d be impressed at how much maintenance work they do on a daily basis. 

But at the end of the day, you’re on roads – it’s hard to wrap your mind around like, ‘Okay, apex the tree, hit the wall.’ 

Patricia Fernandez competing at the Ulster Grand Prix
Patricia Fernandez competing at the Ulster Grand Prix

There are so many uncontrollable factors. Either you want to do it, or you don’t. Other pro-racers have gone with me, and they’re like, ‘Absolutely not’ because there’s such a tiny margin for error. 

I remember the first couple of times I went to the Ulster Grand Prix, I was like, ‘What’s on the ground?’ It looked almost like markers when you saw them from far away – but they were actually PEOPLE that lay on the ground for a better view. You’re not allowed to be on the road surface, but they’d want to get as close as they could. 

The first few laps out, I had to get stuff like that out of my head – it was so different compared to what I was used to.

There was one incident, maybe 2018, 2017, I can’t remember. I DO remember commenting on it right before it happened, though…people would take selfie sticks, and they’d stand behind the hedges and stick the selfie stick out over the hedge on the road to get a good view or whatever. 

And there was actually an incident where a selfie stick ended up hitting a racer’s shoulder, and it knocked him off the bike and broke his collarbone and stuff…all because some dude stuck his stick outside the hedge to get a better view. 

And so now they have to make announcements about it, warning people off. 

And I’m like, ‘It’s absolutely ridiculous that they even have to do that – that would never happen here,’ haha.

I think the way I approach proper road racing mentally is a lot different as well. 

For proper road racing, my team – my boyfriend Cory West, and everyone else – knows that they can’t bring up anything negative in any way, shape, or form for the whole week.

I’ve been involved with incidents where a rider goes down or does whatever, and you just don’t talk about it. Don’t bring it up because you can’t think about it. It’s just, ‘Have fun.’ You don’t bring up anything that will unbalance you. You can do it on a circuit but not racing on the road with so many uncontrollable variables. 

So literally all my crew, my boyfriend, everyone knows, there’s a big mental thing because it’s hard to go out and race with the realization of some of the things that can go wrong.

What’s the saying, ‘The faster you go’? Haha.


As the ‘world’s fastest female racer’, you’re getting some amazing times clocked. Would you say that the promotion of your female presence interferes at all with your career?

When I have to get ready for photoshoots that show my body off, I’m sweating, freaking out. I would rather do a run any day of the week if I could be completely honest. And I hate cardio. It’s the devil.

Funny how the photoshoots came about, actually – when I first started riding and stuff, I was just a short cute girl, and I felt I was really dismissed. No one ever thought I was going to amount the anything. And to be honest, I didn’t intend to be a pro-racer, but I liked riding and stuff, and it took me where it was. 

On the track, there were a few girls that were around, and they had really bad reputations of sleeping around. They weren’t necessarily there to go racing.

I had a really good coach at the time, Jason Pridmore, who’s now an announcer for MotoAmerica. 

And I remember him telling me, ‘I’m not going to help you unless you’re serious about racing. If you are just trying to come to the paddock to meet guys or do whatever, I don’t want to help you.’ 

And I was like, ‘No, I’m 100% serious and dedicated.’

And so, for a very long time, I didn’t post or do a lot of feminine things or anything because I really wanted to be taken seriously as a racer. 

Later, I was working for Motul, and the lady who was in charge of marketing at Motul approached me and was like, ‘Why don’t you ever think about doing some glamorous stuff? You’re a pretty girl.’

And I was like, ‘No, no, no. I’m serious. I want to be taken seriously.’ 

And she goes, ‘Think about your name.’ 

My name tag on social media is Lady_Racer926.

She goes, ‘You’re a lady first, and you’re also a racer. You’re already accredited. You need to market yourself. You have something no one else has.” 

This was after I was already pro and was racing overseas – and it was a light bulb moment to me. Then I was like, man, maybe I should start utilizing that. 

A three-part photo: Patricia Fernandez in a bikini, on a super bike, and in full leathers.
A three-part photo: Patricia Fernandez in a bikini, on a superbike at the Ulster Grand Prix, and sporting full leathers prior to a race.

It worked. 

Now, I’ll have a world record photo of me racing overseas or doing something huge, and social media is like, man, whatever. But if you have a photo of me in a bikini, it’s 10,000 likes.

I’m like, ‘What’s wrong with these people?’, haha. 

But that’s the way the world works. 

One racer could be a second faster, but if this other racer has 100,000 followers on social media, that guy will most likely get the sponsorship before the other rider.


You’ve done sidecar racing. You’ve done dirt biking. You’ve taste-tested so many different, diverse niches of the motorcycle industry. Is all of this a conscious decision to give something a try, or is it just, ‘hop in my sidecar and don’t die’?

So, it’s 100% ‘hop in my sidecar and don’t die’, haha! 

So, with the sidecar, I was at a club race meeting to race my motorcycle, and they called me to the registration office. A guy shows up, and they’re talking about a monkey (I figured out later that the passenger in a sidecar is called a monkey). 

It happened to be a race weekend where they were doing an exhibition thing, and they had the sidecar races. I guess the guy came to the registration office and asked if there was anybody that could be the monkey for his sidecar (his guy didn’t show up). 

And the office was like, ‘We know someone crazy enough to do that.’ 

I told him that I had never done sidecar racing before and asked him if it was hard, and he was like, ‘Oh, we’ll practice in the parking lot.’ 

No joke! We did a couple of laps, and I was like, ‘Ok, let’s do this.’

I always joke around and say I’ll try anything twice. Surprisingly enough, this was also the same thing with the Bagger. 

Patricia Fernandez sitting next to her Indian Racer Bagger at the Bagger Racing League

When they recommended me, when Cory approached me and asked if I’d like to race a Bagger, I was like, ‘Oh, I don’t know.’ I’m super short’.

That was my biggest concern. I like to lie and say I’m 5’3′- it rounds up, right?

My whole thing is, I’ll try it. And that’s what I said to Cory. ‘I don’t know if I’ll be good, but I’m willing to try it.’ 

But it’s cool because everything correlates in a certain type of way. When you do the dirt bike stuff, you’re on smaller bikes, but getting control of the rear end breaking loose and learning how to control that, actually makes you a better rider in the rain on the sportbikes. 

And when you’re on a sportbike, and you’re in the rain, and it gets loose, it’s almost the same thing as being on a dirt bike. 

If you just talk about controls and skills, it may look different, but it all relates.


How did you find the bagger as a race bike?

It doesn’t matter what you put me on – if I’m riding solo, I’ll just ride around. But put ONE PERSON next to me, and then I’m like, ‘Oh, it’s on. I have to win.’ 

I always joke around and say, ‘I’d race an ostrich, a unicycle, whatever – just let me race.’ 

With the Bagger, I went out, and I was like, ‘Oh, let me try it.’ 

And every lap, I told them not to clock me because I was nervous, but they did anyway.

My first lap was 210. My second lap was 209, 208 – every lap was just dropping. 

And then I came in, and I was like, ‘I think I CAN ride one of these.’ 

And they’re like, ‘Ohh, you’re riding one all right.’ 

They already knew – it’s just about getting comfortable and adapting to something that’s a little different. 

A view of Patricia Fernandez trying out the Indian Bagger for the Bagger Racing League

It is a little difficult because you don’t get a lot of seat time on the Baggers like you do a sportbike. These motors really aren’t made for what we’re doing. So you actually want to keep your seat time down.

I was used to hour-long sessions on the sportbikes. On those, if I run out of gas, I can come in, splash a bit of gas in or change tires and go right back out and ride for an hour straight. You can’t really do that on these baggers. Not at this performance level, considering how fast and hard we’re riding them. 

It was definitely weird hearing, ‘Take a break, don’t ride.’ 

I’m like, ‘I want to ride….’


There’s, of course, the King Of The Baggers (where you made your debut), and then there’s the Bagger Racing League. Do you prefer to promote one or the other?

I will promote anything that I do. 

a side profile of the Indian Bagger

So when I race in the Bagger Racing League, I promote the Bagger Racing League. When I race King Of the Baggers, I’m going to promote King Of the Baggers. 

As a racer, I’m not an organizer, and I’m not an owner. 

For me, what’s best is to race. I want to race everywhere. Every day, every week, every chance I get. 

When they first did that Bagger race last year at Laguna Seca, I think everyone thought it was going to be a one-time exhibition thing. And when it got four and a half million views in 10 days (or whatever it was), they were like, ‘Holy cow, this is a big deal.’ 

Now, it’s such a big deal that there’s competition – obviously, whenever something becomes really popular, multiple people want to capitalize on it.


Do you see yourself doing anything else, going into any other niches of the motorcycle industry?

 I’ll never NOT ride a motorcycle, but it’s a sport like any other, so usually, the older you get, it does become a little more difficult – and we’re in a sport where age, unfortunately, takes its toll. 

I guess it’s one of those things where the future is kind of bittersweet. As a racer, you know you won’t be able to race as much later on. 

For me, I’ll do anything – race a Bagger, be involved in user test or development, coach, advocate for women or rallies – anything that keeps me close to the world of riding and racing.

Stuff like that, it’s always going to be a part of me. 

The Custom-built Indian Bagger for the Bagger Racing League that Patricia Fernandez rides

I definitely don’t think I have the engineering brain for the designing part of things, though it’s cool to be a part of the customization of my Indian Bagger. I mean, everything we’re doing now is basically testing and development for these motorcycles. The parts that we’re developing now, in a couple of years, people will be able to buy, to build their race Bagger. 

Also…I actually would really like to go back to paramedic school. 

One of the sides of being a motorcycle racer is you meet a lot of really nice paramedics and nurses, haha! Every other race, you’re like, ‘Hey, it’s me again,’ haha. 

It would be cool to maybe be a paramedic at a racetrack once in a while to be able to help out.

I can also see myself at 80 years old with all-gray hair, still on a motorcycle, and going to a rally being all like, ‘I was the first woman to race a Bagger,’ trying to help other girls be a part of it. 

That would be something really neat to do if I stopped racing – maybe marketing or organizing for an event.

Bottom line, as long I can still ride, I’ll be happy.


Do you have any parting words that you could offer to any females wanting to start motorcycle riding or racing? Any advice you can give?

Just do it. 

I’m serious, haha, that’s all I got. 

Just. Do. It. 

Patricia Fernandez in transit with her tires for racing

They asked me that question on TV this past weekend, and it was funny – they’re like, ‘What advice do you have?’. 

I’m like, ‘Do it. Go out there, take a class, get your license, buy a motorcycle.’ 

The best thing you can do in this industry is buy a motorcycle and promote it. 

I mean, if you think about it, I wouldn’t have even been allowed to buy a motorcycle however many years ago. Crazy thought, but true. If I came in with cash to a dealership a couple of generations ago, they would refuse to sell me a bike because I was a woman. 

Now, women are racing and doing everything they couldn’t in the past. 

My biggest advice is if you want to do it, do it.

Never let anyone push you beyond your limits – because that’s the biggest risk to feeling safe and comfortable. 

Whatever your speed is, whatever your pace – whatever makes you feel comfortable, you do that. 

Don’t ever let someone make you do something that makes you uncomfortable because that’s when dangerous situations happen, whether it’s on the street or a race track. That’s what I tell ladies. 

This past weekend, I met a lot of ladies that were interested in riding, and I’m like, ‘Well, tell me this, has your husband or your boyfriend ever scared you when you were on the back?’ 

And they’re like, ‘Oh, yeah.’

I’m like, ‘You need to ride then. You need to get your own license – because, at the end of the day, no one can steer you but you. If you want to go 15 miles an hour, you go 15 miles an hour. If you want to go 50, go 50.’ 

But that’s the biggest thing when I try advocating for people – especially women. And even if you try riding and it’s not good for you, you’ll end up a better passenger anyways. 

This is for any ladies that are nervous or scared about the concept of riding: 

Learn it, but learn at your own pace.

Keep riding. 

Above all else, make sure to enjoy it.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

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

Video | Onboard with Jason Pridmore at 2018 Island Classic

Island Classic Onboard Video

We recorded this video last year (2018) at the Island Classic onboard with Team America star Jason Pridmore.

The American came through the pack to finish fourth in this bout and carded a 1m37.482 on lap four.

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

Unfortunately his Yamaha cried enough in the next race and he didn’t get a chance to improve on that result on Sunday.

The 49-year-old will be out to make amends later this month when he visits Phillip Island for the International Challenge for the second time.

Island Classic Onboard Video
Race with Jason Pridmore at 2018 Island Classic

Island Classic 2018

David Johnson won the race from Glen Richards and Jeremy McWilliams, with Pridmore just missing out on the podium.

International Challenge Race Two Results
  1. Johnson – AUS
  2. Richards – UK +1.398
  3. McWilliams – UK +1.718
  4. Pridmore – USA +2.668
  5. Edwards – USA +3.347
  6. Corser – AUS +4.403
  7. Beaton – AUS +8.680
  8. Zemke – USA +11.312
  9. Martin – AUS +11.476
  10. Linfoot – UK +11.531
  11. Byrne – AUS +11.655
  12. Hickman – UK +18.238
  13. Giles – AUD +18.369
Jason Pridmore – 2018 Island Classic – TH Image

Out for more in 2019!

Alongside Pridmore, the Team America challenge will be much stronger this year with AMA Superbike hotshot Josh Hayes joining their ranks. He might be 43-years-old but Hayes won the American Superbike Championship as recently as 2014, and finished a close runner-up in both 2015 and 2016.

There is no Colin Edwards this year but the likes of Larry Pegram, Steve Rapp and Dale Quarterley also bring with them impressive CVs. Rennie Scaysbrook is also fronting for Team USA.

International Challenge 2019 – 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

Ken Wootton Memorial Trophy

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.

Island Classic heading for TV

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.

A lot more than the International Challenge

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.

Phil Irving Perpetual Trophy

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 Tickets

Tickets for the 26th International Island Classic, presented by Visit Phillip Island, are available 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). You can camp at the circuit for four nights for just over $20 per night (with kids once again free).

Tickets can also be purchased at the gate, but save by buying in advance.

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

Source: MCNews.com.au