Motor Sports

Aitchison after a top end hit at Monza

Thursday May 3, 2012 by  

Australia’s Mark Aitchison in practise ahead of the 2012 World Superbike round at Monza in Italy this weekend. (Credit: Graeme Brown/GeeBee Images)
Australia’s Mark Aitchison in practise ahead of the 2012 World Superbike round at Monza in Italy this weekend.
Photo courtesy of Graeme Brown/GeeBee Images

Australia’s Mark Aitchison is hungry for more horsepower ahead of the 2012 World Superbike round at Monza in Italy this weekend.

The circuit, situated north of Milan, places an absolute premium on top speed and performance with its long straights and sustained periods of full throttle action, and there are also ultra-quick corners and slow chicanes to contend with.

After a disappointing performance in the last round at Assen, where he was chasing his tail after crashing on day one, Aitchison is looking to build some consistency at Monza.

“Assen was a bit of a disaster. The rain and cold temperatures made it difficult but we just weren’t on top of our game,” said Aitchison. “The traction control strategy was just really difficult to understand and at times when we adjusted it, it just didn’t respond. Read more

Stars ready to light up the Assen Cathedral

Wednesday April 18, 2012 by  

The 2012 Superbike World Championship continues its trek through ‘old school’ circuits when it visits the historic Assen layout this weekend.

The fast and flowing Dutch circuit, also known as the ‘Cathedral’, is a tough one to conquer, and requires the full gamut of concentration with very little margin for error – and the unpredictable Dutch weather can also be a factor.

The man who has got the most out of those tricky ingredients over the last two years is Honda rider Jonathan Rea. The British rider has won three of the last four races around the 4.4542km layout, including a clean sweep in 2010 and shared victories with reigning world champion Carlos Checa in 2011. Read more

Checa does the double at Imola

Monday April 2, 2012 by  

Ducati’s Carlos Checa stormed to the top of the 2012 Superbike World Championship standings with a faultless performance at Imola overnight.

The reigning world champion’s second clean sweep at the Italian circuit in three years now has him on 75pts after two of 14 rounds, ahead of Aprilia’s Max Biaggi (71), Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes (69) and BMW’s Leon Haslam (47).

That quartet butchered the opposition at Imola, with polesitter Sykes finishing second in both 21-lap races, while Biaggi and Haslam were third and fourth – and then daylight to the rest. Read more

Corser returns to his Phillip Island playground

Wednesday February 22, 2012 by  

Australia’s recently retired two-time World Superbike champion, Wollongong’s Troy Corser will be a special guest at this weekend’s (Feb 24-26) opening round of the Superbike World Championship, at his Australian playground Phillip Island.

Corser, 40, is making a last-minute journey from the UK to soak up all the action, and once he arrives at the race track which served him so well during his 15-year career – seven wins, a record; and still holder of the world superbike lap record at the island – he’ll be taking on his ambassadorial role with gusto, including commentating, meeting the fans and doing a celebratory lap of honour on Sunday.

Corser carved out a brilliant road racing career, and is one of only six riders to have won multiple World Superbike titles – in 1996 and 2005. Read more

Sydney’s Brookes to race at Phillip Island

Tuesday February 14, 2012 by  

Australia’s Josh Brookes has been drafted in to replace injured American John Hopkins in the Crescent Fixi Suzuki team for the opening round of the 2012 Superbike World Championship at Phillip Island from February 24-26.

Hopkins crashed in private testing at Phillip Island on February 13, suffering a suspected fracture of a bone in his right hand, just behind the ring finger. He has now returned to America for treatment, and has already been declared unfit to race at the season opener in less than two weeks’ time.

With the early call made on Hopkins, Brookes, now racing for Suzuki in the British Superbike title, was sought out by Crescent to return to the WSBK paddock for the first time since he competed on a Honda at Silverstone in July, 2010. Earlier that season, Brookes also rode as a wildcard at Phillip Island. Read more

Johnson to join Superbike grid at Phillip Island

Wednesday January 25, 2012 by  

South Australian David Johnson will make a one-off wildcard appearance in the opening round of the 2012 Superbike World Championship at Phillip Island, this February 24-26.

With the assistance of Adelaide businessman Duncan Gordon, the 28-year-old expatriate will compete on a BMW S 1000 RR under the Rossair AEP Racing Team banner.

The S 1000 RR is a full blown ex-British Superbike machine, which Johnson will ride for the first time at a Phillip Island test session on January 30. Read more

Endurance Championship confirmed for 2012

Tuesday January 17, 2012 by  

The Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit has secured the rights to the Australian Endurance Championship from 2012 to 2014, with news today that Motorcycling Australia (MA) has granted the Victorian circuit a three year contract to host the national championship.

Phillip Island circuit managing director, Fergus Cameron, announced today the championship, to be called the Phillip Island 8 Hour, will be held December 1 and 2, 2012 – and also be staged at the Victorian seaside track in 2013 and 2014.

The circuit’s first 8 Hour, modelled on Japan’s famous Suzuka 8 Hour, was held last December.  Twenty five teams and close to 100 riders started the event, with the Team Suzuki squad of Josh Waters, Troy Herfoss and Robbie Bugden claiming a decisive victory. Read more

Team Suzuki powers to eight-hour success

Sunday December 4, 2011 by  

The Team Suzuki trio of Josh Waters, Troy Herfoss and Robbie Bugden has produced an imperious display of calculated, front-running racing to easily claim the honours in the inaugural Phillip Island 8 Hour Australian Endurance Championship at the Victorian circuit this afternoon.

The factory-backed outfit didn’t put a foot wrong all day, starting from pole position before seizing control from the outset – a Le Mans start — thanks to the in-form Waters.

With impressive back-up service from Herfoss and Bugden, the trio already had a vice-like grip on the race by the halfway mark, and the final stanza was all about maintaining a consistent pace, staying clear of any potential trouble, and making sure their fuel and tyre management strategies were spot on. Read more

Akermanis launches racing career

Thursday November 24, 2011 by  

Colourful AFL star Jason Akermanis will launch his first serious bike racing effort at the Phillip Island Eight-Hour Enduro, campaigning a Honda CBR 600 in the Superstock class at the inaugural race.

With backing from Honda Motorcycles, 34 year old Akermanis has assembled a talented team of five riders for the enduro – backed by the Caulfield Park Community school.

“To be honest, the island’s 8 Hour is my first serious bike race,” said the 2001 Brownlow Medallist who has been riding bikes since l999, but never in a racing capacity. Read more

Corser draws curtain at World Superbike finale

Monday October 17, 2011 by  

Troy Corser’s long and extremely successful innings in the Superbike World Championship has concluded, with the Australian bowing out in Portugal overnight wearing a special crocodile skin livery on his factory BMW.

“I have been racing for a long time and the day had to come, and although it is a sad day for a lot of people it had to come at some stage,” said Corser. “I think it is time to do it right now. We have brought the bike on well, and I think Leon (Haslam) and Marco (Melandri) will do a fantastic job with the bike in 2012.

“For me it is an honour to stay on with BMW as an ambassador, and there are lots of different areas where I will still be involved with the development, PR and so on. So I am not disappearing, I will still be around at the tracks.” Read more